Energy Year 2007 - District Heating
Finnish Energy Industries
For publication 22 January 2008 10.00 a.m.
Energy Year 2007
District heat sales a little lower than previous year
Autumn season sales 11% short of normal
Finnish Energy Industries figures show that district heat sales fell last year by about 3 percent on the year before, remaining 8 percent lower than in a normal year, despite record numbers of new customers connecting to district heating in a number of locations. The mild weather contributed to the drop in sales. District heat sales totalled 28.5 TWh (billion kilowatt hours). The monetary sales value was EUR 1.33 billion.
In the autumn season, district heat consumption was 11% lower than average, and sales fell EUR 48 million short of normal. The whole autumn was mild, especially December, which was 5 degrees warmer than average. October temperatures were almost 2 degrees above normal. However, September and November were almost normal. With the exception of February, the first half of the year was milder than usual. District heat sales fell 5% short of average in January-May.
Households accounted for 56% of district heat sales. District heat to the value of EUR 747 million was sold to them. At the end of the year, there were 1.2 million households with district heating, with about 2.5 million people living in buildings with district heating. Most public buildings in the country use district heating. Almost half the building stock in Finland is connected to district heating. In the largest cities, the proportion is more than 90 percent.
Combined heat and power generation accounts for three quarters of district heat
Last year, the volume of district heat produced was 31.3 TWh. This was 3 percent less than the previous year. 75% of the district heat was obtained from combined heat and power generation. The share of pure district heat produced was 25%. Combined generation produced 14.5 TWh of electricity. This was about one percent less than the year before. In combined heat and power generation, a third of the fuel quantity is saved compared to when they are produced separately. The emissions are reduced proportionally.
Carbon dioxide emissions reduced
Carbon dioxide emissions from district heat production were 6.9 million tonnes, declining on the previous year by almost 0.3 million tonnes. The average emission rate was 220 g/kWh, a little lower than the previous year.
Natural gas still most important
Natural gas was used to generate 35% of district heat and co-generated electricity. The share was up by less than one percentage point on the year before. The share of coal was 26%. Its usage fell by a good percentage unit. The proportion of peat remained at about 19%. The share of wood and wood residue and other indigenous fuels, such as biogas and secondary heat from industry, remained at the levels of the previous year or 12%. About 4% of district heat was produced from oil.
Price of district heat
The mean price of district heat, including energy tax and compulsory fees, was 4.7 cents per kilowatt hour. The average price rose by 6 percent on the previous year. The increase meant a rise in heating costs of a three-room apartment by EUR 25/month, and in a detached house by EUR 47/month. However, the mild weather compensated for the price rise.
Taxes account for about 24% of the price of district heat. Generally, the principal factor influencing the price level is the size of the district heating system. In large conurbations, district heat is co-generated economically with electricity. Other factors contributing to the price level of district heat include the fuels used, age of the plant, structure of the conurbation, efficiency of investments, and the owner’s requirements with regard to returns.
Reliability of district heat supply excellent
According to data collected by Finnish Energy Industries, the reliability of district heat supply is 99.98%. It is excellent in Finland, even during spells of severe frosts. Interruptions in heat supply caused by faults in technical equipment are generally brief, and their effect on room temperatures is no more than a few degrees. The country’s district heat production capacity totals about 19,700 MW. The total output requirement of clients connected to the district heating networks is about 16,300 MW at most.
According to data collected from energy and district heating companies, interruptions in heat supply caused by damage average about one hour per client a year. Unfortunately, individual disturbances caused by technical faults in equipment are unavoidable. The high reliability of district heat supply is mainly due to the systematic quality control, upkeep and preventive maintenance of the entire system and related equipment.
Mirja Tiitinen, Adviser, Tel. +358 9 5305 2305
Jari Kostama, Director, Tel. +358 50 301 1870