AUSTRIA

Austria is characterised by its climatic conditions and alpine natural areas. About 2/3 of the area is covered by the Alps. Harsh winter weather conditions but also approximately 48 % in total is covered by forests. Therefore, the provision with thermal energy for heating purpose has an important role in the energy landscape of Austria as well as the usage of biomass.

Around 28 % of the primary heating systems are district heating. The primary energy in district heating systems is provided by 45.4 % biomass, 35.5 % natural gas, 7.9 % residual waste. Other sources are oil (6.3 %) and coal (3.7 %). The amount of DHS has increased in the last year constantly.

There are big district heating systems in cities like Vienna and Graz as well as small – mainly renewable operated – DHS in small towns and villages. In total there are about 2,300 biomass DHS with 6,100 GWh of thermal energy. The total installed power in Austria of biomass DHS is 2.1 GW.

Current topics and challenges will be addressed in terms of energy efficiency, lowering the system temperature and integration of secondary energy sources like industrial waste heat and heat pumps. The most important goal is to increase the share of biomass and renewable energy sources in district heating systems. The aim is to ensure that the heat supply contributes to the achievement of global climate targets and that regional added value is achieved. Therefore a main focus will be addressed on the knowledge transfer between the different operators and the improvement of current facilities which will be renovated.

About KeepWarm

KeepWarm is an EU-funded project whose objective is to accelerate cost-effective investments in the modernisation of District Heating Systems (DHS). It brings together eleven project partners from a variety of relevant sectors (energy agencies, national DHS associations, agricultural chambers, research institutes, consultancies on energy efficiency and NGOs) across Central and Eastern Europe.

The aim of the initiative, launched in April 2018, is to modernise DHS around the whole region and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving system operations and promoting a switch to less-polluting sources, like renewables. The project partners strive to ensure that best practices for environmental-friendlier heating and cooling will be taken up across Europe, replicating KeepWarm’s approach in other countries and regions, even beyond the end of the project in September 2020.

Capacity Building

The tailor made Capacity Building programm for Austria covers training topics identified by Austrian DHS operators and staff during the needs assessment phase. The highest priorities have been given to:

  • Technical topics
  • RES and EE topics including waste to energy aspects
  • Management topics

Top priority topics were additionally also identified in:

  •   Organization topics

Technical Topics

Topic/ Language / Author

Optimising hot water supply (German); by Jürgen Pirker, Danfoss

Training duration (hrs)

1 hour

Description

Consumer-side indicators and challanges in the correct distribution of hot water

Training is suitable for

DHS operators, technical staff, engineers

Puffer storage (German); by Harald Kaufmann, Nahwärme.at

1 hour

Hydraulic switches and puffer storages and the calculation of energy content of those storages

DHS operators, technical staff, engineers

Grid-reduce return flow temperature(German); by Ing. Mario Rauter, Thermocycling

1 hour

Optimisation of the temperature of the return flow of pipes and optimisation of installations and settings in customer buildings to increase the efficiency ot the DHS

DHS operators, technical staff, engineers.

Optimising secundary side (German); by Herbert Hansmann, Biowärme Bad Mitterndorf

1 hour

Optimisation of grid return temperatures by optimising installations at customer side

DHS operators, technical staff, engineers

Building-grids (German); by Enes Hamidovic, SEEGEN

3 hours

Right planning of a grid, different pipe types, leakage indicating systems, details about civil engineering in building grids and energy losses of the grid

DHS operators, technical staff, engineers

Basic of heat gauge (German); by Bernhard Riegler, SEEGEN

2 hours

Basics of heat gauge, thermodynamics, calculations of heat amounts and necessary energy of heating water

DHS operators, technical staff, engineers

RES and EE Topics including Waste to Energy Aspects

Topic/ Language / Author

Wood Ash - a valuable fertilizer (German); by Josef Neuhofer, GF Nahwärme Eugendorf GmbH

Training duration (hrs)

1 hour

Description

Handling the ash from wooden biomass, sieving the ash, using it on agricultural land and depose it

Training is suitable for

DHS operators, technical staff, engineers

Planning and dimensioning a biomass DHS (German); by Ing. Martin Ringhofer, Ringhofer & Parnter

1 hour

Important aspects for planning a biomass DHS including biomass logistics, subsidies, emission limits, boiler settings, planning of the right size and financial feasibility

DHS operators, technical staff, engineers

Inclusion of heat pumps into DHS (German); by Dipl. Ing. ETH Karl Ochsner sen., Ochsner Energie Technik

1 hour

Usage of modern heat pump within a biomass DHS, low temperature waste heat from the DHS serves as heat source for the heat pump.

DHS operators, technical staff, engineers

Aspects from forestry of using biomass(German); by DI Harald Ofner, LK Steiermark

1 hour

Availability of biomass from forestry, nutrients within the biomass

DHS operators, technical staff, engineers

Biomass-logistics (German); by Horst Striessnig, Nahwärme.at

1 hour

Which different types of wooden biomass can be bought by a DHS, how to evaluate the amount and energy content of this biomass, how to pay for biomass and how to store biomass

DHS operators, technical staff, engineers

Wood chips-logistics and key indicators (German); by Martin Gaber

2 hours

Production of wood chips, biomass logistics, storing biomass and calculation about costs of wood chips for DHS operators

DHS operators, technical staff, engineers

Basics of wooden biomass (German); by Klaus Engelmann, LK Steiermark

2 hours

Description why wood is CO2 neutral and advantages of using this renewable biofuel, definition of terms and fundametals of wooden biofuels, calorific content of wood and its parameters

DHS operators, technical staff, engineers

Biomass logistics - drying of biomass (German); by Klaus Engelmann, LK Steiermark

2 hours

Different kinds of how a DHS can take over the biomass, e.g. weigh-bright and measuring the moisture content, advantages and disadvantages of taking over round timber, wood chips and industrial saw mill chips

DHS operators, technical staff, engineers

Organizational Topics

Topic/ Language/ Author

General information about legislation and subsidies (German); by Klaus Engelmann, LK Steiermark

Training duration (hrs)

1 hour

Description

Legislation and subsidies for DHS in Austria and general situation of using biomass in DHS

Training is suitable for

DHS operators, technical staff, engineers

Country project partner

The Landwirtschaftskammer Steiermark (Lk-Stmk) represents the interests of Styrian farmers since 1929. Today it has around 55'000 members. Through intensive advice activity in the past 20 years, Lk-Stmk played a decisive role in Styria's development into a model region in the field of heat and electricity production based on biomass, -gas and bio-fuel transport. Within the project, Lk-Stmk is in charge of preparing feasibility studies. It will also support DHS pilot project implementation in Austria.

KeepWarm resources