New Business Opportunities for Solar District Heating and Cooling (SDHPLUS)

Project programme
01.07.2012 - 30.06.2015
Project status
Project table
Project website

Solar district heating (SDH) plants are a large-scale solar thermal technology supplying renewable, zero-emission heat from large solar collector fields via district heating networks to residential and industrial areas. Long term experience is available from demonstration projects in Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Austria. The commercial application of SDH is presently starting in some countries. In particular in Denmark, where SDH is operated at feasible heat costs, the realisation of plants is booming. Newcomer SDH activities are developing e.g. in Italy, France, Spain and Norway.Innovative business models with SDH can create additional benefits. New opportunities need to be recognised, derived from the role of renewable district heating for implementing the EPBD recast and the Directive for the Promotion of Renewables.The aim of SDHplus is to foster the changeover of district heating to solar energy and the transfer of SDH know-how to six learning countries ES, FR, HR, LT, PL, SI as well as the institutionalising of high level dissemination events at European level.The SDHplus project builds on the previous IEE project SDHtake-off.


  • New SDH business models and SDH marketing strategies open up new opportunities for DH suppliers and other market actors and thus create a relevant contribution to the market growth. 13 European business models have already been documented and made available on the project website. 7 pilot implementations took place in 6 different countries.
  • Show cases are created for integrating SDH into various specific district heating situations. These show cases respond to the market barriers of DH stakeholders (e.g. combination with CHP, high costs). Practical know-how is transferred to market actors, reliable data and new knowledge is made available and plant replication is stimulated. Within the project 41 case studies have been developed in cooperation with DH market actors, and lessons learnt are presented in a report.
  • SDH markets develop in the newcomer countries ES, FR, HR, LT, PL, SI. It is estimated that they can reach a capacity of 500 MWth until 2020. Within the project this was initialised by a one-to-one coaching of partners in these learning countries. 550 market actors have been trained. 3 plants have already been realized in FR and IT, and more are in planning.
  • Innovative marketing and business opportunities for SDH have been analyzed. Five marketing strategies have been developed for SDH, as well as marketing instruments concepts. 9 pilot implementation took place in 6 different countries.
  • High level dissemination activities, in particular the international SDH workshops and plant visit tours aiming at coaching of district heating market actors and a new SDH conference have been institutionalised. After the project these workshops and conferences shall continue as self-financed events organised by district heating associations. Within the project, 500 stakeholders participated in international events, 3700 in national events.

Total cost: 1 880 763 EUR


Partners: Steinbeis Forschungs- und Entwicklungszentren GmbH, Germany

  • Steinbeis Forschungs- und Entwicklungszentren GmbH, Germany
  • S.O.L.I.D. Gesellschaft für Solarinstallation und Design, Austria
  • CITYPLAN spol. s.r.o., Czech Republic
  • TECSOL SA, France
  • Lithuanian Energy Institute, Lithuania
  • EC BREC Instytut Energetyki Odnawialnej Sp. z.o.o., Poland
  • University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Euroheat & Power AISBL, Belgium
  • CIT Energy Management, Sweden
  • Italian District Heating Association, Italy
  • PlanEnergi, Denmark
  • Ambiente Italia s.r.l., Italy
  • German Heat & Power Association, Germany
  • AMORCE – Association of public project owners, France
  • Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, France
  • Danish District Heating Association, Denmark

Project Team

Name, surname Office phone. e-mail

LEI Representative
Aurimas Lisauskas 103-LK +37037401932