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Energy year 2017 - District heat

Published: 31.01.2018 Updated: 19.02.2018

Finnish Energy: Carbon emissions from district heat production at a historic low – 2017 record year also in  recovered heat

Carbon emissions from district heat production were lower last year than ever before in the history of their measurement.

The energy sector organisation Finnish Energy (ET) has compiled statistics on emissions for over 40 years, from 1975. Over the current decade, carbon emissions from district heat production have fallen by all of 26 per cent.

ET's Managing Director Jukka Leskelä stresses that energy companies have invested and continue to invest in reducing the use of coal.

 "At present, 90 per cent of the municipalities where district heating is provided generate their heat mainly from domestic energy sources and 70 per cent from renewable fuels or waste heat.

All municipalities using coal as the main fuel are taking concrete steps to cut its use. In the 2020s its usage will be marginal, but even after that coal is likely to remain an important fuel to ensure security of supply." 

Peat has increasingly been replaced by biomass. For district heat generation, more than 30 per cent less peat is now used compared to around ten years ago. The decline in peat combustion has contributed to the reduction in carbon emissions from district heat production.

  The latest statistics show that carbon emissions from district heat production fell by 3.6 per cent on the year before in 2017. The emissions amounted to 149 grams per kilowatt hour, while a year before the corresponding figure was 154 grams.

Surplus heat – comparable to renewable energy – on the increase

Records were broken a year ago also in surplus heat recovery. Almost 10 per cent of all Finnish district heating was covered by recovery from e.g. wastewater and flue gases.

 "Waste heat utilisation is growing, and it has become a significant energy source for district heating. Companies are now looking for different types of waste heat to connect to the district heating system," says Jukka Leskelä from ET.

The share of renewable fuels in district heating rose to 36 per cent. Of the renewables, the most used by district heat production were forest fuels and industrial wood waste, accounting for 30 per cent.

 "Waste heat can also be likened with renewable energy when fuel consumption is avoided by making use of surplus heat," Leskelä comments.

New builds still favour district heating

District heating continues to be the most popular method of heating in all new building. The share of district heating in the new builds heating market climbed to 66 per cent last year. Electricity and heat pumps were clearly lagging behind.

 "The market share shows that builders and customers believe district heating to be the most effective form of heating in built-up areas, where most construction is taking place right now," says Jukka Leskelä, Managing Director of Finnish Energy.

District heating also does well as the energy source of existing properties: more customers move over to it than from district heating to other forms of heating. The number of customers joining it rose by 1.5 per cent from the year before, with more than 2,300 new district heating connections in 2017. The number of disconnections was about 160, equivalent to 0.1 per cent of all district heating customers.

Further information

• Managing Director Jukka Leskelä, tel. +358 50 593 7233, Twitter @JukkaLeskela
• Director (Energy Production) Jari Kostama, tel. +358 50 301 1870, @JariKostama
• Senior Advisor Mirja Tiitinen, tel. +358 50 434 6994, @MirjaTiitinen1

Filename Date added
Energy year 2017 - District heat (PPTX) 19.2.2018
Mirja Tiitinen

Mirja Tiitinen
Senior Advisor
Energy Market
twitter-icon @MirjaTiitinen1

Taina (perhevapaalla 5.12.2017 alk.) Wilhelms

Taina (perhevapaalla 5.12.2017 alk.) Wilhelms
Senior Advisor
Energy Market

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