Opportunities for heating and cooling networks. Cooling supply options available for aquathermal systems with heat and cold storage

Climate change will significantly change the ratio of heating and cooling demand for buildings in the coming years, mainly in non-residential buildings. We estimate that the cooling demand for the built environment in the Netherlands is now about 30% of heat demand and could rise to around 80% by 2050. In non-residential buildings, cooling demand may even exceed heat demand in 2050.

There are various possible systems for filling this cooling demand. If the heating demand of a residential area is met with a heat and cold storage system, such as an aquathermal energy source, a cold ‘bubble’ is also available for cooling.

In this study, we investigate the impact of global warming on the cooling demand of the built environment in the Netherlands in the coming years. We also analyse the cost of cooling by comparing various heat and cold network configurations with heating and cooling storage to cooling with air conditioners.

This study shows that cooling with a heat and cold network has lower costs compared to air conditioners. If waste heat from utilities is used as a source in addition to aquathermy and a cold tariff is charged for this, then this is the most favourable business case.