The Swedish Association of district heating networks collects annual data on energy use in the industry and have now made available and published the data for 2014. The latest figures show a net increase of recycled energy from heating networks. The following is a review of Swedish district heating networks in figures.
In Sweden, fossil energies are less and less used for heating networks since the 80s, and 2014 has seen a decline. The oil represents 1.5% (against 2.2% in 2013) of energy sources used in district heating, natural gas 1.9% (3% in 2013) and coal 2.3% ( 3.1% in 2013). Coal as the rest of fossil fuels are in sharp decline.
For comparison, in France, the share of renewable and recovery energy (RE & R) in district heating networks had increased from 26% in 2005 to 36% in 2013, with the French government having set the goal of reach 50% of renewable and recovery energy by 2020. It is therefore clear that Sweden, for the moment at least, is significantly further down the line as regards the use of renewable and recovery energy, despite the significant development experienced by heating networks in other countries over recent years. Indeed, it is feared that this situation is set to worsen as the 2014 data reveals that other countries are lagging behind Sweden, yet the gap is in fact expected to probably be higher for 2015 than 2014.
Coming back to the Swedish figures, it has been revealed that the renewable and recovery energies used in its heating networks are mainly in the form of biomass and waste, these two alone account for 21.6% of the energy share, an increase of 2.5%.
It is also important to remember that the use of waste heat arising from industry in heating networks is also on the increase, this now accounts for 7.6% of the total energy used in 2014. This increase is largely due to successful partnerships which have been established between industry and networks.
The use of “recycled” energy is also rising, and the use of natural resources is consequently in decline, an ongoing trend since 2010, according to Sonya Trad, the head statistician for the Swedish Association of heating networks has confirmed.