Last edited 22 Jan 2021

Main author

BSRIA Institute / association Website

Big growth in district heating markets - now and on the horizon

Starter homes exemplar.jpg


[edit] Introduction

The market for district energy (DE), including district heating and district cooling, has witnessed large growth in many countries in Europe in the last five years – and also significant growth in China.

The six European DE markets researched by BSRIA in 2018 have a district heating and cooling (DHC) total installed capacity of slightly under 250,000 MWth, with China alone having 750,000 MWth. The seven researched countries are projected to grow by almost 5% by 2030. Compared to district heating, district cooling will remain “rather small” in these markets.

The BSRIA District Energy study provides valuable insight for China, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia and the UK.

The main drivers are that construction players embrace DE for their competitive advantage and financial benefits: if there is sufficient demand and the projected income makes a project profitable, then the provider will take the necessary steps to create or upgrade a network.

Socrates Christidis, research manager of heating and renewables at BSRIA’s World Market Intelligence Division, said:

“Closely related to the progress of DE networks and the growing popularity of communal heating systems is the growth of central transfer stations and heat interface units (HIUs).

“Central transfer stations, also called heat substations, heavy-duty stations or simply ‘substations’, are used to connect larger buildings or sub-networks to a heat network. They are usually located at the connection of the main heat network to large buildings.

"HIUs (also called flat stations) extract heat from district heating networks to feed individual buildings and dwellings. How they perform is central to the overall efficiency of the heat network in a district heating scheme. Overall, there is a healthy growth for HIUs on a pan-European basis of 6%–7%.”

[edit] BSRIA testing of HIUs

Mr Christidis added: “There is also an increasing number of companies offering energy metering and billing, maintenance and ongoing management of communal heating and hot water systems for apartments and communal housing schemes.

“And, as in all areas of building services, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are starting to be exploited by some players to create fully automated and self-learning systems; these will better predict energy requirements, eliminate energy peaks, optimise indoor environments and offer predictive maintenance.”

[edit] About this article

This article first appeared in March 2019 on the BSRIA website and can be accessed here. To find out more about the study, call BSRIA on 01344 465 540 or email [email protected].

[edit] Postscript

BSRIA is a non-profit distributing, member-based association, providing specialist services in construction and building services. More information at

BSRIA Test is a leading UK independent laboratory for testing, validation and performance of HVAC products and systems. As a UKAS (1053)-accredited laboratory to ISO 17025 with over 60 years' experience, it offers standard testing to BS, EN and ISO for CE approval and compliance with local schemes and global markets.

BSRIA's Worldwide Market Intelligence (WMI) division is a leading provider of a regularly released authoritative portfolio of published market reports and hot topics, in addition to bespoke studies and management consultancy. A wide range of off-the-shelf solutions includes HVAC, energy service and smart homes, renewable technology, refrigeration, structured cabling, lighting, security, fire detection and building controls.

BSRIA WMI also offers a market consultancy to the building and HVAC&R market stakeholders, building on its comprehensive data base of information, its expertise of the market’s competitive environment, its technical knowledge and analytical power.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki


Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again