The cities of Gothenburg, London, Rotterdam, Genoa and Cologne have recruited 50 European cities to become members of the district heating and cooling project CELSIUS.
Over a period of four years, the project aims to help other European cities become more energy efficient through the use of district heating and cooling systems.
A part of the EU’s Smart Cities & Communities program, CELSIUS was initiated in 2013 and runs until 2017. The project is led by Gothenburg and consists of four other parnter cities: London, Rotterdam, Cologne and Genoa. The goal of recruiting 50 new European cities has now been reached, a year ahead of schedule. The first to join was Enfield Borough of London, and last week Krakow became the 50th to step onboard.
In their recently published Heating and Cooling Strategy, the European Commission highlighted district heating’s strategic importance for achieving the EU’s climate targets. The Mayor of the lead city Gothenburg is proud that the city’s district heating network, dating back to the 1950s, is now a European leader.
“That 50 European cities have joined CELSIUS is a confirmation that we, together with the people of Gothenburg, have chosen the right path towards creating a sustainable city. Our purposive and long-term strategic engagement with district heating has made us a role model in Europe and the world. We have accumulated knowledge and expertise over the years that we can now share with other cities, so that they in turn can reduce their carbon emissions. The people of Gothenburg can really feel proud of our district heating system,” says Ann-Sofie Hermansson, Mayor and Chair of the Gothenburg City Executive Board.
Each of the 50 member cities participating in CELSIUS face different conditions for working with district heating and cooling. In some cities, the district heating network is widespread and in others it is still on the starting block.
One of the cities that have joined the project is Lille in France. They see participation in the project as a golden opportunity to quickly gain access to new knowledge for developing and increasing the energy efficiency of their heating and cooling systems.
“We aim to double our district heating network by 2030. To do so we plan to create a district heating network from the waste incineration plant, which is about 20km away, to the substations. This network could supply new users and eliminate the use of coal and gas as energy sources,” says Alain Bézirard, energy advisor in the city of Lille.
In Copenhagen, 98 percent of the city's buildings are already connected to the district heating network. “Copenhagen has the goal of being carbon neutral by 2025. Energy production and
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 314441
smart city solutions are very important areas to achieve this goal. By participating in Celsius we expect to obtain new innovative ideas from other cities and also hope to inspire others,” says Kristian Honoré, Energy Planner, for the energy company Hofor.
Similarly, the Polish City of Bydgoszcz considers CELSIUS as a good way to learn about new technologies: “The City of Bydgoszcz is at all times looking for new technologies to become a Smart City. The Celsius programme is helping us to modernize our district heating system and providing us with tools to become smarter,” says Tomasz Boñdos, Energy Officer at the Municipality of Bydgoszcz.