Report describing the concept for holistic design of integrated energy systems in Kaunas

Many multifamily apartment buildings in Kaunas require deep renovation. Kaunas Municipality was the first in the country to develop a program to renovate buildings and infrastructure of in city blocks. However, progress is slow, as the renovation program for apartment buildings is funded and administered by the Ministry of the Environment. Nevertheless, the building pilot project was realized in 2015 and is a great replication potential for other renovation projects.

The sector of multi-apartment dwellings is the largest user of the district heating company in Kaunas. The renovation of buildings will have a major impact on DH supply over the long term. Major changes have taken place during the last six years in Kaunas DH system on the heat generation side: the structure of the fuel used for heat production has changed in essence, many independent heat producers have emerged, especially after prices on natural gas increased after the acquisition by Gazprom, so the development came on market conditions. These decentral biomass plants pose an energy system pilot. The purchase of heat through the auction has begun and this new way of energy trading is unique for Lithuania and Kaunas and is a great foundation for future heat production and consumption.

Kaunas DH system faces considerable challenges as current consumers reduce consumption and new users appear in other places. In addition, historically, the Kaunas DH system was created to work with one large heat producer (Kaunas CHP), and now the situation has changed, and there are many small-scale producers. Therefore, the network’s hydraulic modes are essentially changing. Investing in DH network upgrades and dispatching system is needed to ensure reliable and safe heat supply for consumers.

The heat production side has changed radically in Kaunas District heating system over the period from 2012 to now. Instead of the old, inefficient heat producer using expensive natural gas, many small-scale independent heat producers using biomass wit efficient heat only boilers have emerged. Heat trading system from monopolistic and deeply regulated has been shifted to very competitive market with auction rules. Due to these changes, the price of heat in Kaunas DH dropped dramatically. In the future of Kaunas DH market can be affected by improved heat auction scheme, which is coming into force from December 2018 and a newly built government-owned waste incineration power plant, which should start operations in 2020.

Recently large parts of the district heating network has been refurbished, see picture above.

Want to know more?

Delivery no. D.3.5.3 Report describing the concept for holistic design of integrated energy systems in Kaunas
Please contact: Mr. Ramunas Gatautis, Lietuvos energigija,