A web-livestream of the LowTEMP Final Conference offered more than 140 district heating experts from energy companies, suppliers, municipalities and the academic sector from all over Europe the opportunity to discuss the potentials and challenges of low temperature district heating. During the conference, results of the Interreg BSR project LowTEMP have been presented and experts from the German and European DH sector presented their insights on latest developments in the sector. The conference was organised by the German Centre for Energy, Construction, Architecture and the Environment (ZEBAU GmbH) and the German Energy Efficiency Association for Heating, Cooling and CHP (AGFW) in close collaboration with the project partners.

The participants of the conference were greeted by Jens Kerstan, the Senator for environmental issues of the City of Hamburg, as well as by representatives of the LowTEMP project partnership. Even though the conference could not take place in Hamburg but was transferred to a virtual format, an overview of the Hamburg District Heating Strategy provided an interesting insight on efforts to make the city more sustainable in terms of heating. Christian Maaß of Hamburg Institut Consulting emphasized the need to view the system as a whole – from the heating network itself to distribution and storage of heat as well as the communication with the consumers. In his keynote speech, Dr. Ingo Weidlich, Professor of Infrastructure Technology at Hafen City Unviersity, discussed the opportunities and challenges for district heating systems and presented the state of the art in research with regard to new materials used in heating grids and the different standards used within Europe. Gabriele Pesce from Euroheat & Power explained in his keynote how low-temperature district heating systems are already contributing to energy efficiency in Germany and in the Baltic Sea region and how the need to modernize low-temperature district heating systems is reflected in current strategies and initiatives of the European Commission.

Linked to the opening presentation by lead partner Adam Cenian (IMP PAN) and project manager Britta Schmigotzki (atene KOM) of the past, present and future of the work within the Interreg project LowTEMP, project partners presented the results of the fruitful collaboration. A series of guidelines, strategies and tools to plan, implement, finance and manage low temperature district heating systems that contribute to a sustainable energy supply in the partner countries have been developed in the past three years and are now available on the LowTEMP homepage. The District Heating Knowledge Platform as well as the LowTEMP training package have been designed to meet the demand for knowledge transfer on district heating and the need to build regional and local capacities in order to meet goals for sustainability, reduction of emissions and energy efficiency in the Baltic Sea Region. The documentation including video excerpts of the conference is available here.

Building capacities will persist in the future as the project partnership of LowTEMP will continue to respond to the large demand of knowledge on sustainable district heating supply. Within LowTEMP 2.0, an extension of the current LowTEMP project, project partners will work to further improve the training package by adapting it to national conditions including national training seminars as well as by making it even more accessible in the form of eLearning courses. Funding has been approved by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme for the year 2021. The project partners met the day after the conference to kick off the work on LowTEMP 2.0.