The new environmental regulations for new buildings puts pressure on French district heating networks as greater supply is demanded • The Duchère district heating network in Lyon-Rhône-Alpes will be extended to include the municipalities of Écully and Champagne-au-Mont d'Or • In Limoges, the planned installation of 1.2km of pipe will help optimise energy distribution from a biomass incineration plant and a waste energy plant • Read more about sustainable heating and cooling developments in France in the April news update
The new environmental regulations for new buildings (the “RE2020”) took effect on January 1, 2021. It enforces a gradual transformation of construction- and energy solutions in order to reduce buildings’ carbon emissions. The new regulations specify that new buildings can no longer be 100% heated by gas, and this also puts pressure on the district heating networks that supply them. To accommodate new (even renovated) buildings, networks will have to develop more “green” supply – faster than expected. The initial version of the RE2020 made it difficult to connect buildings to current networks, but an adjustment was made to accommodate it. At its present, the threshold for the carbon criterion of connectable buildings is 14 kg CO2 per m2 / year. It was initially being lowered to 6.5 kg CO2 per m2 / year, but this has been postponed to 2028. The new RE2020 instead specifies a criterion of 8 kg CO2 per m2 / year. The networks are, however, worried about these changes as it may promote other electric heating solutions and undermine the development of district heating.
The works will start in 2022 and last for 2 years. The goal is to increase the network supply from 80,000 homes to 200,000 by the end of the mandate, and to develop the 200km of underground networks that currently supply hot water with the help of large boiler rooms. 57% of the network’s energy comes from renewable and recovered energies: incineration of waste and shredded wood collected around the Metropolis. The new extension will now connect 5,000 to 12,500 additional homes and it has the goal to increase the renewable energy rate to 83%. The public service has been delegated to Eclyde, a 100% subsidiary of Dalkia. The contract is for a period of 20 years with 37 million euros of investments planned by the latter.
The urban community will now be installing a 1.2km pipe to optimize the distribution of energy produced by two production units: the incineration biomass plant of Val de l’Aurence and the Waste Energy Plant of Limoges Métropole (the incineration plant located in Beaubreuil). These interconnections will be used to substitute for natural gas and improve the use of renewable energies for nearly forty kilometers of heating networks in the south and north areas of Limoges. The project is intended to save 11 GW / h in natural gas per year and to reduce CO2 emissions by 2,300 tons per year. In addition to the environmental aspect, there is also an economic stake. If the Limoges Métropole waste energy plant improves its energy performance, it could obtain the status of an “energy recovery unit” and have reduced taxation until 2025.
The project is estimated to cost 2.2 million euros (incl. Tax). It will be funded by Limoges Métropole with support from the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME).
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