Approximately 1.2 EJ of energy are potentially available for recovery each year from urban heat sources in the EU. This corresponds to more than 10 percent of the EU’s total energy demand for heat and hot water. There are, however, a number of challenges to be met before urban waste heat recovery can be performed on a wide scale. This paper focuses on the non-technical issues related to urban waste heat recovery and is written on the basis of opinions gathered from stakeholders in the field. Three non-technical issues are focused upon. First, a number of important barriers to wide scale urban waste recovery are identified, and where applicable, recommendations are made regarding how to overcome these barriers. Second, important issues and challenges regarding contract design are identified and discussed. Key elements of heat supply contracts between the district heating company and the owner of the waste heat are described. Finally, the impact on business models of properties specific to urban waste heat recovery are discussed. Data were collected from two separate sources, both related to the ReUseHeat Horizon 2020 project, which addresses the application of urban waste heat recovery in existing district heating networks. First, a number of interviews with stakeholders were carried out. Second, information was collected from demonstrator sites involved in the ReUseHeat project. It was concluded that, for urban waste heat recovery to be taken up on a wide scale, there is still a large amount of work to do to overcome these major issues. This paper is novel in that key non-technical issues of urban waste heat recovery are discussed from the perspective of a large sample of actual stakeholders and practitioners in the field.
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