Study of a district heating in the city of Genappe

The city of Genappe located in the Walloon Region has adopted a plan to reduce its CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020. Among the shortlisted measures, the municipality has considered the renovation of the entire heating system of its 7 administrative buildings located in the Espace 2000. In this context, WattElse has been selected to study the technical, financial and environmental feasibility of a district heating combined with a centralized heating system.

During this study, the following alternatives have been analysed and compared:

  • Renovation of all decentralised gas-fired boilers (Business as Usual case).
  • District heating with centralised biomass-fired boiler.
  • District heating with centralised Combined Heat and Power system with gas input.
  • District heating with centralised Combined Heat and Power system with biomass input.

The different aspects and technologies are compared in the following table.

The conclusion of the study is that the most ecological and profitable system is the district heating connected with a centralised Combined Heat and Power system with biomass input. This system produces heating and electricity which generates electricity & biomass benefits and also green certificates (subsidies from the regional government). WattElse has also pointed out that this option implies CAPEX and OPEX expenses much larger (4 to 5 times) than the Business As Usual option. Technically speaking, the shortlisted solution implies the construction of 500 meters of heating pipes and a dedicated building for the biomass-fired boiler and the storage of the biomass. Regarding CO2 emission reduction, the shortlisted solution provides a significant reduction of 80% while the biomass-fired boiler and the CHP with gas input imply emission reductions of respectively 60% and 10%.