District Heat on a Global Scale
These days, district heating is available throughout the world: in Western and Eastern Europe, North America, and in Japan, Korea, China and Mongolia of the Asian countries.
In Europe, there are over 5,000 district heating systems, and the market share of district heat is about 10 per cent of the heating market.
In the United States, about 4% of heating needs are met with district heating.
Russia is the largest district heating country by far, with heat deliveries of between 1,700,000 and 2,400,000 GWh per year. No exact information is available due to insufficient metering or statistics. The approximately 50,000 district heating systems in Russia, which are often quite small, are technically in fairly poor condition and uneconomical with respect to their use of energy, water, electricity and spare parts.
In China, district heating was not launched until the 1980s, but it is still expanding vigorously. Already in 2002, 1.4 billion square metres of floor area in 600 towns were connected to district heat. The power demand was 70,000 MW and the combined length of pipelines in the network was 25,000 km, 7,000 km with steam. Efforts have been made to apply modern technology from the very beginning. As a country using coal almost exclusively, district heating offers China a unique advantage to improve the state of the environment, enhance energy efficiency and develop cogeneration.
District Energy: Now's the Time!