Short Description




Background, problems and motivation

The massive development of regenerative power generation in Austria has led to an installed capacity for wind and PV of around 2,800 MW, imposing severe challenges on the networks due to the stochastic production characteristics.

As a consequence, suitable flexibility options for balancing via the electricity markets, the regulatory energy markets and other short-term possibilities such as balancing markets and re-dispatch are required. On the other hand, the district heating sector in Austria, is confronted with a large number of small and medium size biomass plants of which in sum around 900 MW have been installed around 20 years ago.

Many of these systems are at the end of the technical life time. Additional, they are facing changing market conditions (especially energy prices and decreasing heat demand), resulting in an unprofitable operation and unsecure future perspectives.

Aims and innovation

Heat pumps can provide a connection between the electricity and the heat sector and thus could counteract the high costs associated with the expansion of electricity grids and at the same time could increase the profitability of the heat networks.

However, although technically solutions are available on the market and demonstrated, only a few examples are realized in Austria. The aim of the project is to develop and investigate innovative business models enabling the economic integration of heat pumps in small and medium urban heating networks by creating synergies between the heat and the electricity markets.

One main focus is the application for heat pump pooling over multiple heating networks, supporting the requirements of balancing markets for which availability of electricity consumption must be guaranteed.

Small and medium sized cities offer high potentials for integrating heat pumps due to

  • less complexity of the heating network supply structure and players
  • in general lower supply and return temperature levels and
  • a good availability of sources for the heat pump (e.g. waste heat, sewage ducts).

Expected results and findings

Development and documentation of technical options and application areas, enabling a substantial reduction of the operational costs compared to a standard central heat pump integration.

Evaluation of the economic potential for pooling of heat pumps in heating networks and development of innovative business models with attractive ROI due to the synergy effects
Transferability of the above named solutions to representative urban heating networks and preparation of concrete demonstration projects.

Project Partners

Project management

Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH

Project or cooperation partners

  • ENGIE Geb√§udetechnik GmbH
  • ENGIE Energie GmbH

Contact Address

Daniele Basciotti
Sustainable Thermal Energy Systems 
Center for Energy
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Giefinggasse 2
A-1210 Vienna
Tel.: +43 (505) 50-6652
Mobile: +43 (664) 210-4991