France news update May 2024

Engie Solutions investing €8 million to extend the district heating network in Compiègne • New modules have been added to EnRezo: an online tool to map the development of district heating and cooling networks in France • A study has been launched into the development of a district heating network and a wood-fired heating plant in Guingamp • Read more about the developments in sustainable heating and cooling in this month's news update from France

Engie Solutions investing €8 million to extend the district heating network in Compiègne 

At a press conference on May 6, the mayor of Compiègne, Philippe Marini, together with representatives from Engie Solutions announced substantial upgrades to the existing district heating network.  

The planned investments will translate to an extension of the existing 13km network with an additional 4.6km. In terms of users, this will correspond to an increase from 9,000 to 10,000 housing units being connected to the network.  

Initially powered by oil and later by gas, the network now incorporates a biomass boiler plant, making it more environmentally friendly. Currently, 65% of the urban heating network is fueled by wood residues and 35% by the gas boiler. Mayor Marini highlighted that 80% of the wood supply is sourced locally, within a 100 km radius of Compiègne. This corresponds to a total of 19,000 tonnes of wood annually. The wood supplies mainly consist of forestry residues and untreated damaged wood pallets. 

To bring about these extensions, Engie Solutions has vowed to invest €8 million in the network. In addition to this, ADEME (the French Environment and Energy Management Agency) and the Hauts-de-France Region will also contribute €1.6 million, with another €1 million expected from Energy Saving Certificates. As part of the investments, Engie Solutions plan to create 15 new substations, adding to the existing 67 substations currently existing in the network. Furthermore, they plan to lower the operating temperature from 180°C to 108°C. This change will not affect heat supply but will result in savings and extend the lifespan of the installations, according to Mayor Marini. 

Read more in article from Oise Hebdo

New modules have been added to EnRezo: an online tool to map the development of district heating and cooling networks in France 

EnRezo is a mapping tool developed by Cerema and financed by the DGEC (The General Directorate for Energy and Climate) and ADEME to support local authorities in their development of district heating and cooling networks, by providing data on development potential and available recovered energy sources at a local level. The tool is accessible via an online platform that is regularly updated with the latest available data on the status of district heating projects across mainland France. 

The EnRezo tool is primarily intended for local authorities, consultancies, government departments and energy observatories, but it can also be used by other actors in the field that wish to stay informed about the status of current and potential future networks. 

The tool aggregates data relating to existing networks and the heating and cooling needs of the different cities and regions in France, as well as the renewable and recovered energy sources that can be used to feed into a potential network. Some of the data points that the EnRezo tool compiles include:  

  1. existing heating and cooling networks and production systems, 
  1. local sources of renewable and recovered energy, and; 
  1. the heating and cooling needs of cities and communities across mainland France. 

Since the beginning of 2024, the tool has also integrated new modules mapping potential district heating developments in the context of the reference scenarios that ADEME has presented in their “Transition 2050” study. 

Since the tool is used in everything from opportunity studies and identification of possible areas for network extensions, to feasibility studies for upgrades to existing networks, it can prove useful for anticipating upcoming business opportunities in the early development phases of district heating projects. 

Read more in article from Cerema

A study has been launched into the development of district heating and wood fired heating plant in Guingamp 

The town of Guingamp, in the Côtes-d’Armor region, is investigating major changes to its energy supply. Amidst rising energy bills, a feasibility study into the creation of a wood-fired heating plant and a district heating network was approved at the town council meeting on Monday 13 May 2024. 

The future potential heating network is anticipated to supply public buildings such as schools, the local hospital, nursing homes, and the town’s public swimming pool. While the project target public establishments in the first hand, the municipality also plans to extend the proposed district heating network to private users in the town in the future.  

The local newspaper L’Echo de l’Armor et Argoat has indicated that this new development should be seen in the context of soaring energy bills; Guingamp’s annual energy bills have risen from €400,000 to a staggering €1.2 million over recent years as a result of spikes in energy prices. In light of this, mayor Philippe Le Goff has stated that one of the main objectives of the project will be to reduce the dependency on price-volatile energy sources. The project thus aims to benefit from the more stable energy prices offered by a district heating network, while also enabling the utilization of local waste for the heat supply. 

According to the mayor, the results of the study should be presented by the end of this year. The mayor has also indicated that if the study shows the project to be worthwhile, the district heating network could be operational as early as 2029. 

Read more in article from Ouest France 

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