Interreg D2Grids

Heating and cooling account for 50% of the EU’s total energy consumption, but at present only 19.1% of it is sourced from renewables, while in 5 countries out of 7 in North-West Europe the same ratio is below 8.2%. This makes heating & cooling an obvious target sector for efforts to increase the share of RES.




D2Grids will do this by rolling out a proven but underutilised concept: 5th Generation District Heating and Cooling (5GDHC). 5GDHC is a highly optimised, demand-driven, self-regulating, energy management system for urban areas.

Its key features are:

  1. ultra-low temperature grid with decentralized energy plants;
  2. closed thermal energy loops ensuring hot and cold exchange within and among buildings;
  3. integration of thermal and electricity grids.

Due to low grid temperature, low grid losses and efficient heat exchange mechanisms, total energy demand is substantially reduced, which can be effectively and securely supplied by RES, up to 100%.

The objective of D2Grids is to increase the share of RES used for heating & cooling to 20% in NWE 10 years after the project ends, through accelerating the roll-out of 5GDCH systems.

The five partner pilot sites in Paris-Saclay (FR), Bochum (GE), Brunssum (NL), Glasgow and Nottingham (UK) aim to connect ca. 50.000 m2 of dwellings and/or commercial buildings to a 5G DHC grid.

The role of EnergyVille/VITO

Upscaling the technology - boosted by transnational cooperation - enables the consortium to raise the interest of the industry to develop the right products and reduce the costs by 10-20%. EnergyVille/VITO in Belgium is a key project partner for industrializing the 5G DHC concept and to evaluate results. They will guide the implementation of the district heating networks at the different sites from start to finish. 

Moreover, the project will deliver plans to create further similar developments in Parkstad Limburg, North-East France, Luxembourg, Flanders, the Ruhr-area, Scotland and East Midlands (UK). Dedicated education and training programs, will be set up by Open University, a partner in the project bringing in expertise on post-graduate and digital learning. Asper-IM from London will participate by introducing business models and knowledge platforms for the financial markets.

This €19.3 million project is financed by Interreg North West Europe funds for 60% of the total budget, €11.6 million.

Lead partner: Mijnwater B.V.

Partner Organisaties: 

Asper Investment Management Ltd, UK
Clyde Gateway Developments Ltd, UK
Open University, NL
French Geological Survey, FR
Greenflex, FR
Construction 21, FR 
Flemish Institute for Technological, Research NV, BE
Nottingham City Council, UK