Discussions about energy are usually on the subject of electricity, even though more than half of our final energy consumption concerns heat. For this reason, Utrecht University is involved in the Horizon 2020 project ‘Heat Roadmap Europe 4’, which aims to provide insight into achieving a sustainable heat supply.
“The project covers 14 European countries,” says Robert Harmsen, energy researcher at the Copernicus Institute. “We will map out heat demand and make projections for 2050, as well as carry out research into the potential for reducing that demand, producing heat more efficiently and the use of sustainable energy for heat generation.”
Together with the German Fraunhofer Institute and the Swiss TEP Energy, Utrecht University's role in the project was to analyse the demand for heat. “Fraunhofer and TEP Energy researched this for the built environment and we did the same for the industrial sector. The project therefore fits in well with the Utrecht University theme Pathways to Sustainability,” says Harmsen.
The results are now with Aalborg University in Denmark. They are carrying out an energy system analysis, in which heat demand (our contribution to the project), heat-production technology and the energy sources for heat production are combined to show that a heat system that produces less CO2 in 2050 is possible.