Intensification of activities relating to the extension of district heating networks and introduction of new services related to heat generation are measures used by district heating companies to ensure a fairly stable increase of demand for district heating services. Examples of such new services include district cooling and preparation of domestic hot water at customer facilities. The development of district cooling has been listed as one of the priorities in the “Energy Policy of Poland until 2030”. District cooling is an alternative to individual air conditioning systems supplied by electricity. Currently, due to relatively low electricity prices, district cooling seems less attractive than electrical air conditioning. In the future, however, this situation may change, not only due to the expected rise of electricity prices but also due to the improved efficiency of the generation and supply of district cold.
Increasing the use of renewable energy sources and improvement of energy efficiency are two of the most important objectives of the Polish and European energy policy. In order to support the use of renewable fuels (primarily biomass) in heat generation, Poland has introduced the obligation to purchase heat generated by renewable sources connected to the district heating network by the operator of the network.
New challenges to the municipal services industry:
- constant reduction of pollution emissions and improvement of the quality of heating equipment
- improvement of efficiency of heat pumps and domestic hot water storage vessels – permanent tendency in the technological development of such equipment
- new opportunities and tremendous market potential for manufacturers of heat pumps and hybrid and cogeneration solutions
- smog reduction – the anti-smog act gives local self-governments a genuine tool that can be used to create regulations concerning fuels and equipment used to heat houses in a specific town or commune.