The “Eurométropole de Strasbourg” (Greater Strasbourg) aims to be at the forefront of innovative cities in terms of Energy Transition. The European capital aims to achieve a 100% renewable energy supply by 2050. This commitment is both political, voted unanimously by the Council of the Eurométropole de Strasbourg in 2017, and technical, implemented through the recent drafting of a 2050 Energy Roadmap. This document highlights the three cornerstones for Strasbourg’s energy transition: curbing energy consumption across all sectors, boosting local renewable energy production and enhancing district heating systems.

The road to renewables

Strasbourg’s 2050 Energy Roadmap: district heating targets

Strasbourg’s 2050 Energy Roadmap plans for 55% of energy requirements to be met by locally produced renewables. This ambitious target will require a massive deployment of all available renewable energy sources, namely biomass, deep geothermal, solar thermal, photovoltaics, hydro power, biogas, ground-sourced heat pumps and waste heat recovery.

Although all of these proposed technologies will have an important role to play in the overall strategy, some of the resources are very specific to the territory and can only be channelled to buildings through district heating (DH) networks. In order to achieve the ambitious goals set for the deployment of renewable heat through DH networks, Strasbourg has developed a multipronged strategy.

  • The existing DH infrastructure in Strasbourg will undergo a profound transformation over the next ten years to reduce the operating pressure and temperatures in order to make it compatible with local renewable energy sources, as well as the evolving heating requirements of the buildings it supplies.
  • New networks will be developed and extended in key areas, including peri-urban town centres.
  • Local planning regulations, currently under revision, will require all new buildings and buildings under renovation to prioritise public DH networks for their main heating supply where possible from 2022.
  • In order to respond to the growing demand for cooling solutions, Strasbourg aims to implement district cooling test projects over the next five years, deployed in parallel to heating projects, with the added benefit of improvine their competitiveness and attractiveness.

Strasbourg’s 2050 Energy Roadmap: district heating targets

Heat from the depths – and from German steel 

Drilling rig, “Geoven” deep geothermal project – Photo: Jerome DORKEL / Eurométropole de Strasbourg

Two of the Strasbourg’s richest renewable resources, deep geothermal and waste heat recovery, require the development of DH infrastructure to ensure their deployment.

Deep geothermal energy is an important local asset for Strasbourg. Its versatility, availability and near-zero carbon footprint, along with the attractive potential for investment, make it the ideal energy source for the city’s district heating networks and electric grid. Indeed, this technology must become one of the pillars of the city’s Energy Transition, as it will supply up to 20% of local renewable energy supply and almost 40% of the heat (450 GWh) to be injected into Strasbourg’s district heating.

“BSW” cross-border waste heat recovery project

Waste heat recovery will feed an additional 418 GWh (35%) of decarbonized heat to the networks. At least half of this waste heat will be provided by one of Strasbourg’s beacon projects: cross-border heat recovery from the German steel mill “BSW”. This cross border project is supported by the European Union through the “INTERREG Rhin-Supérieur” programme. Up to 250 GWh will cross the Rhine River and the French-German border to heat Strasbourg’s city centre.

A city with many strings to its bow

Strasbourg is a European capital, proud not only of its role in the centre of Europe, but also in its participation in European innovation. As a member of many working groups and international organisations, the Eurométropole de Strasbourg is also working on subjects common to all cities, such as waste heat recovery from low temperature sources as part of the Celsius Forerunner group, the development and support of community energy projects, and many more solutions that must be mobilised in the face of the current climate and energy emergency.

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News The European capital goes green with district heating