The eco-system is aiming at utilizing the thermal energy produced from the local power plants for heating the households, industries etc in the city of Kozani.
Up to now, the most common practice of heating in Greece has been individual central heating that uses in the vast majority diesel oil. Municipality of Kozani is one of the four Municipalities in Greece that have installed in their region thermal power stations.
Since 1993 the Municipality of Kozani has formed an industrial eco-system in co-operation with DEYAK (Municipal Enterprise for Water Supply, Sewerage and District Heating) and PPC S.A. (Power Production Company) in order to use the thermal power of the stations for covering the heating and hot water needs of the buildings (households, offices, commercial) in the city of Kozani. Today the percentage of buildings connected to the district heating system is ≈100%. The installed thermal power for serving the base load today is 70 ΜWth which comes from units 3 and 4 of Ag. Dimitrios lignite fired power station located 18 km outside the town. The hot water distributed by the primary network has outgoing – return temperatures of 1200C – 650C respectively. The total distribution network has a length of 285 km while in the town of Kozani. The total degree-days are about 2500, while the district heating system serves the costumers from October until the end of April.
The benefits from this practise are financial and environmental for the municipality citizens, the small industries that are in the boundaries of the city, offices and commercial shops as well as and for the PPC which is using a by-product as an extra profit.
For the construction of the heating network around 75milion€ were needed and a mean cost of 4000€ per building for its internal heating system. Also, 45 engineers, technicians, workers are employed by DEYAK for working the system.
Evidence of success
This eco-system is considered as successful because it Improves resource efficiency (380000 tonne of oil equivalent are preserved); a new market for thermal energy is opened; Annual savings for consumers (cost of district heating is around 40% less than oil); Annual savings for the country (less oil is imported); Increase in job opportunities; Enhanced research and innovation capacity (new technology needed); Reduce in greenhouse gas emissions (reduction of gas and dust emissions ≈70%)
No problems encountered. The only factor that can endanger the practice is the high initial investment cost and the lack of finance. A challenge that will be faced in the near future is the substitution of the lignite thermal power by another fuel thermal power.
Potential for learning or transfer
This eco-system can be considered successful as it has measurable positive outputs and in many sectors (financial, job creation, environmental, etc.). The practice of district heating by using the power plants thermal energy was applied in the second larger city of Western Macedonia, Ptolemaida (1993), and it has been transferred to other towns of Western Macedonia (Amyntaio-2005 and Florina-under construction) as well as to the city of Megaloupoli (Peloponisos) in 2006. The pattern of the industrial eco-system (Municipality-a district heating municipal company-PPC) was used in all the referred examples. The pattern is easy to be transferred as it uses standard technology solutions and processes (b) the needs it addresses are common in different regions/countries (c) the first applications demonstrated that the achieved benefits outweigh the investment costs by far.