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Comparing the business cases of different variants of alternative heat supply in a neighbourhood that will become natural gas-free

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Comparing the business cases of different variants of alternative heat supply in a neighbourhood that will become natural gas-free

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In Vlissingen, the municipality wants to make a selected neighbourhood natural gas-free. In order to support this, they have been granted a subsidy. There are many important stakeholders in this project such as the housing corporation l’Escaut which owns most of the houses in the neighbourhood. All of these stakeholders have their own agenda, but Stedin has took it upon itself to investigate what form of alternative heat supply is most feasible, resulting in the following main research question: ‘Which of the four defined variants on heat supply as an alternative to natural gas is most feasible for the selected neighbourhood in Vlissingen and has the lowest total costs of ownership?’ The four defined variants in question can be found in chapter 4.

In order to answer the main research question, three sub questions were designed of which the answers support the main research question. During the study, desk research was performed in the form of literature and case studies, and interviews were conducted with experts as well.
A rough scan of the vicinity within a radius of 1 kilometre of the neighbourhood was done for potential heat sources for a heat network. The scan showed that aqua thermal energy, solar thermal energy and residual heat from supermarkets were potential sources for a collective heat network solution. These are all low temperature sources, so the high temperature variant was eliminated from the study. This was also the case for the biomass solution, since this is not deemed as sustainable or renewable and is not perceived as such in society. The other remaining option was individual heat pumps.

A simulation showed that both solutions would impact the electricity grid in such a way that both solutions would require adjustments to the electricity grid. The individual heat pump solution mainly affects the low voltage electricity grid and the collective heat network solution mainly affects the middle voltage electricity grid. Either way, Stedin will have to make adjustments.

Generic business cases were made for both solutions, showing the key financial numbers. Based on these, the conclusion is that the collective heat network solution has the lowest yearly total cost of ownership, whereas the individual heat pump solution is financially more attractive for the residents of the neighbourhood. On top of that, it is also deemed most feasible based on complexities and dependencies.

It is recommended that both the heat sources and the technical systems are studied further. The exact potential of the heat sources has to be determined, as well as their availability. The technical systems should still be engineered to detail, based on which more accurate business cases can be made.

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OrganisatieHZ University of Applied Sciences
OpleidingTechnische bedrijfskunde
AfdelingDomein Technology, Water & Environment
PartnerStedin Netbeheer B.V., Goes
Datum2022-06-30
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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