The KeepWarm project, funded by the EU under Horizon 2020 Energy Efficiency, has worked to accelerate investments to retrofit existing inefficient heat networks, improve system operations, and switch to renewable energy and waste heat sources. Ukraine, as a Contracting Party of the Energy Community, took part in the project, together with 16 European pilot sites (in Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Latvia, and Slovenia) and Serbia. Thanks to the project activities, district heating retrofitting works in all pilot sites have been started.
KeepWarm has also provided concrete recommendations to policy-makers for the development of National Energy and Climate Plans (NECP) in the seven target countries. At the same time, the project influenced the inclusion of district heating retrofitting into Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans and similar municipal plans in Jelgava (Latvia), Celje (Slovenia), and Zhytomyr (Ukraine), as well as into regional planning in Styria (Austria).
The project facilitated knowledge transfer and exchange of experience through newly developed training resources complemented with material from numerous sources, which are accessible in one hub: KeepWarm Learning Centre.
District heating currently represents 12% of heat supply in the European Union. While modern systems can significantly contribute to a more efficient use of resources and the integration of renewable energy, some of the existing systems are still highly inefficient and heavily reliant on fossil fuels.
In Ukraine, centralised heat supply covers 40% of the population. Most multi-apartment buildings and some private buildings in cities and towns are connected to district heating networks with a total length of about 21,000 km. Natural gas is the main fuel for district heating. However, there is an increasing number of examples of using biomass for heat energy generation.
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