Review of District Heating Systems in Italy for Future Enhancement

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District heating (DH) is an energy service based on the centralized production of heat, and its supply to final users. Most DH networks are currently located in the Northern hemisphere, while very few are located in the Southern hemisphere. For what concern the European Union, most networks are operating in northerner and eastern countries. Italy, with less than 10% of the population reached by DH systems, has still a significant, but quite low, market share in the European context. The purpose of this review is to present the current situation of the Italian DH sector. The first introductory part concerns the historical evolution of DH systems in a global perspective. Later, the attention moves on the European situation, with focus on the system geographical distribution, the level of technological development, and the implementation of renewables. Italy still plays a marginal role because of climatic differences in the country, the complexity for some areas to access renewable energy sources, and the lack of interest in this technology showed until the 70s. The conclusions of this work underline a large untapped potential that DH systems have in Italy, requiring adequate investments and researches to enhance the use of renewables as energy source.
Planning for Transition – book of proceedings 31; 2
District Heating, Italy, Sustainable Energy Planning, Smart Cities
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