Integrating Renewable Energy Resources in District Energy Systems

In the framework of the “Energy Solutions for Cities of the Future” project, and under the umbrella of the Global Geothermal Alliance, IRENA organised a virtual workshop with a focus on China on 9 March 2021 titled “Integrating low-temperature renewables in district energy systems.” The workshop was organised in collaboration with Aalborg University, Denmark with the support of the Chinese Renewable Energy Engineering Institute (CREEI).

The objective of the workshop was to increase the knowledge of policymakers at the national, provincial and local levels; urban planners; district heating utilities; etc on the options and available tools for facilitating the integration of renewable energy applications in district heating and cooling networks.

The workshop built on IRENA’s publication, “Integrating low-temperature renewables in district energy systems: Guidelines for policy makers”, which was developed in collaboration with Aalborg University and with the support of an advisory group of district heating and cooling practitioners.



  • Welcome Remarks – Gurbuz Gonul, IRENA
  • Opening remarks - Guocheng LU, National Energy Administration (China)

Session I: Moderator – Amjad Abdulla, IRENA

  • Renewable energy policies in a time of transition: heating and cooling in English and Chinese - Jinlei FENG, IRENA
  • Overview of district heating and cooling in China in English - Jianjun XIA, Tsinghua university
  • Enabling low-temperature renewable district energy in cities in English, Chinese - Brian Vad Mathiesen, Aalborg University

Session II: Moderator – Jack Kiruja, IRENA

  • Key success factors for strategic heating and cooling planning in EnglishChinese - Nis Bertelsen, Aalborg University
  • Policy and market of Renewable energy heating in China in EnglishChinese - Runqing HU, Energy Research Institute National Development and Reform Commission 
  • Novel technologies and application for large-scale geothermal clean heating and cooling in English - Zhonghe PANG, Chinese Academy of Science

Session III: Moderator - Yan Bingzhong, CREEI

  • Experiences and innovative approaches to Ownership structure, financing, and regulation of district heating networks in EnglishChinese - Soren Djorup, NORCE
  • How to address regulatory, financing and ownership challenges in district heating systems: Lessons from the Energy Community in English Violeta Kogalniceanu and Biljana Grbić, Energy Community
  • Utilization of solar power in the heating system of Lhasa Railway Station in EnglishChinese - Yungang PAN, China Architecture Design & Research Group

Session IV: Moderator - Yan Bingzhong

  • Technical challenges and solutions for the integration of low-grade heat sources into existing networks and buildings in EnglishChinese - Jakob Thellufsen, Aalborg University
  • Addressing technical challenges for low-temperature geothermal energy in district heating networks: Lessons from France in English - Miklos Antics, European Geothermal Energy Council
  • Novel methods for reducing energy loss for heating and cooling piping distribution systems in English and Chinese - Angui LI, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology

Conclusive Session: Moderator – Jack Kiruja

  • Perspectives for district heating and cooling - Brian Vad Mathiesen, Aalborg University and Jianjun Xia, Tsinghua university
  • Closing - Amjad Abdulla, IRENA and Mr. Yan Bingzhong, CREEI


Session I
Session II
Session III and IV