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District heating (in Europe, and for energy efficient heating in cities throughout the world)
District heating (DH) is actually more than 100 years old. DH started in 1903 in Moscow, Frederiksberg, and Copenhagen, all in the same year. It’s used in Northern European nations to a more significant degree today than the rest of the world (outside China); and district heating has risen in popularity and use throughout much of the rest of the world.
District heating has proven it's effectiveness in improving energy efficiency for buildings throughout European cities, and should be adopted in many more cities throughout the world. DH is generally implemented when a municipality makes use of otherwise wasted heat.
DH uses otherwise wasted heat from a power plant to create heat for buildings or homes in a city, city district, or town(s) by sending the heat (usually in the form of heated water, steam, or gas) through insulated pipes to homes and buildings to be used as space or water heating.
Heat and energy for district heating is often derived from the use of excess heat from energy generation in combined heat and power (CHP) plants. District heating systems as a modern concept were designed and introduced in the 1980s (with constant breakthroughs since then)-- with automatic control, remote monitoring, and unmanned operations.
District heating explained
For any modern city with a dense population, a district heating supply offers the most significant contribution to ensuring energy efficiency that's readily available (as discussed in this UN Environment article). District heating is used in many large and small cities across Europe, but needs to be used more in major cities throughout the world.
Please also see: Improving Energy Efficiency