District Energy

District Energy is a sustainable, cost effective solution for providing heating and cooling

Most people in Australia and New Zealand live in urban areas, and urban population is predicted to keep rising. Housing, infrastructure and services must continue to meet this increased demand, and look for smarter ways to do it.

Part of ENGIE’s strategy in leading the energy transition is to decentralise energy production wherever possible. District Energy is part of the solution, and is widely recognised as a sustainable, cost-effective heating and cooling solution through the provision of hot water/steam to heat buildings and chilled water to cool buildings.

With over 380 District Energy schemes in 13 countries developed and operated over 30 years, ENGIE has the local and global expertise to provide a comprehensive service for District Energy, encompassing:

  • Initial feasibility/financial viability studies
  • Provision of finance for projects
  • System design
  • Installation and commissioning
  • Project management
  • On-going operation and maintenance
  • Contract energy management

We are currently developing large District Energy Schemes in Australia (in Queensland, for cooling) and have developed a project in New Zealand (in Christchurch, for heating and cooling), and there are many examples of our work around the world in the video below.

Heating Networks

A heating network generates and distributes heat in the form of hot water and superheated steam using one or more generating units. They generally use a range of different primary energy sources for heat generation, including natural gas, locally-generated energy and renewables in the form of household waste incineration, biomass (wood, etc.), biogas, solar, geothermal and heat recovered from wastewater.

A heating network has four main component parts:

  • one or more heat generating units
  • a primary pipeline network that transfers the heat to the delivery points
  • heat exchanger substations installed in connected buildings
  • a secondary pipeline network that distributes the heat in the form of hot water from the delivery points (substation) to the radiant sources in individual homes or offices

Cooling Networks

A cooling network is a centralised system that provides chilled water to supply an air conditioning system. In practice, it includes chilled water production and distribution facilities to provide cooling services to all connected buildings. Operating as a closed circuit, the cooling network always includes two pipelines: one supplying chilled water to users, and the other returning the water to the production plants.

The presence of a water source close to the network can make it possible to dispense with the need for a cooling tower at the production plant.

Compared with a traditional air conditioning system, this network typically:
  • consumes 35 % less electricity
  • emits 50 % less CO2
  • greater than 50 % energy efficiency
  • 65 % less water consumption

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