THERMOS Twinning meetings e-diaries

THERMOS cities are dedicated towards the acceleration and optimization of low-carbon heating and cooling systems and the roll-out of the THERMOS energy planning tools. For that purpose THERMOS pilot cities hold peer-to-peer twinning meetings to provide guidance and share experience in the application of the THERMOS software.

Cities are keeping e-diares to capture their experience and share it with others. Read more:

Warsaw & Berlin. Two capitals connect on thermal planning (Autumn 2018)

Katarzyna Kacpura, THERMOS pilot city Warsaw
Deputy Director of Infrastructure Department 

The City of Warsaw and our partner KAPE (Krajowa Agencja Poszanowania Energii/KAPE – Polish National Energy Conservation Agency) were pleased to host dena, as representatives of the City of Berlin, for our first twinning meeting! We proudly dove into our THERMOS software test case, which focuses on the northern Białołęka district, one of the areas with the highest number of newly-built residential buildings and highest potential for development.

Here, our objective is twofold: to assess the feasibility, sustainability and profitability of connecting part of the Białołęka district to a new heating source – the ‘Czajka’ sewage treatment plant – and to assess the potential for expansion of the existing heating network. This district has the potential to play a key role in improving air quality through the reduction of low-stack emissions by replacing coal heat sources with more ecological alternatives – natural gas, RES and waste heat – and by increasing the number of buildings connected to the district heating and gas networks (many currently are not).

Together with our German guests, we discussed the utility of THERMOS to collect information and compare possible scenarios for the above situation. We did an appraisal of the tool interface, model workflow, and data categories, after which we looked at the replicability potential in Berlin. Discussions confirmed that it is important to develop not only a central district heating system, but also to think about the possibility of creating local systems fed by alternative heat sources. We agreed that presenting the economic benefits of creating such systems – creating business case for energy efficiency, as is possible with the THERMOS tool – can strengthen both Warsaw and Berlin’s energy work by being more persuasive for decision makers and more encouraging for users.

The most important objective for the next twinning meeting is to use the newest version of the THERMOS model with real demand values from Warsaw and Berlin. We look forward to meeting again in the winter to test the latest software version with real data and sharing the lessons learned from the solutions modelled! 


Pia Dorfinger, THERMOS Replication city Berlin (representative partner)
Team Leader, Start-ups and Innovation, Renewable Energies and Mobility, dena

We as dena are participating in THERMOS twinnings on behalf of the replication city of Berlin. The city administration is, at the strategic level, interested in comparing the costs and benefits of having a small number of large heat distribution systems versus a larger amount of smaller, more local networks. Secondly, the city administration is interested in appraising options for new local (district) networks and using specific waste sources.

Berlin will use the THERMOS software in a “confirmation/reality check.” Real planning data coming from a heating network currently under construction and foreseen to supply heat to an entirely new residential neighbourhood, will be compared with the results of the THERMOS tool.

Like Warsaw, Berlin is looking at localised and local solutions, integrating renewable energy sources into heating networks. Energy stakeholders in our city are particularly interested in evaluating to what extent heating networks are needed in light of energy efficiency measures and building refurbishments. This was reflected in what we heard from our Polish counterparts and the THERMOS tool will contribute to this.

For dena, representing Berlin, it was also interesting to learn about Warsaw’s general energy planning and spatial planning measures. Since Berlin is currently working on its roadmap to achieve its energy and climate targets for 2050, it was useful to learn more about Warsaw’s processes and their limits. Another important aspect for Berlin, similar to Warsaw, are questions around such large cities’ “integrated approaches” to energy and infrastructure planning, including (e-)mobility, for example. Once it is fully up and running, the THERMOS will therefore be an important tool for both cities and their local partners to look at and evaluate integrated heating and electricity infrastructure planning.

At the second twinning visit, we look forward to assessing the robustness of the THERMOS software in the presence of our Warsaw colleagues, with respect to addressing the two sets of objectives of Berlin, and building on the experience of the pilot city.

Alba Iulia & Jelgava. A Tale of two smart cities (September 2018)

Inga Kreicmane, THERMOS pilot city Jelgava Director of the Zemgale regional energy agency (ZREA) 

Jelgava and the regional energy agency I lead got engaged with THERMOS to test out the energy planning software for the expansion of our existing district heating network and to further advance our efforts to become a ‘smart city’. In Jelgava we have vast experience with district networks, which already covers around 85% of the city’s total heat consumption. However, mobilizing the financial and human resources required to model and connect interested end-users to the existing network proves to be quite challenging at the moment.

With THERMOS, we can analyze decisive parameters for energy planning – like investment requirements, potential heat consumption, heat losses and payback timeframes for specific districts – from the convenience of our own desks! The software will allow us to plan in-house, and ultimately more cost and time efficiently. With our Romanian twinning city, we wanted to share our experience regarding management models and integration of heating and cooling mapping in existing energy models, stakeholder engagement and data usage.

With a visit to the local FORTUM biomass cogeneration station and a demonstration of the THERMOS tool, we hope to have supported our Alba Iulia colleagues who are looking to revive their district energy network. For our next meeting we are looking forward to applying the software in Alba Iulia and to deepen our exchange, and create synergies in energy planning and smart city processes. 


Dan Hodos, THERMOS replication city Alba Iulia Urban Development Expert

Like many cities in Eastern Europe, we in Alba Iulia used to have an extensive district energy infrastructure, but in recent years it has been replaced by individual gas boilers. Our goal is to turn this trend around by reintroducing district energy. It was important for us to get involved in THERMOS, as we were looking for an application that would show us possible routes for new networks, while also taking into account user-specific pre-conditions from our previously existing routes.

For the twinning, we were especially interested in learning about public-private management models in Jelgava for operating the networks and supplying plants, how to develop city-wide heating and cooling maps and to explore what data we would need to use the THERMOS software. It became clear that with THERMOS, we can significantly reduce the complexity of district energy planning for entire districts and individual houses alike. The cooperation between FORTUM and Jelgava is a very interesting engagement example for us if we want to ensure secure supply and reaching our clean energy objectives and Covenant of Mayors commitments.

We took from the meeting that waste management and waste-to-energy options are important questions for both cities and that both we and our Latvian partners share the ambition to become smart cities. This first meeting makes us looking forward to continue our exchange.

When Cascais met Granollers (September 2018)

Marta Chillida Munguet, THERMOS pilot city Granollers Environmental Technician, Ajuntament de Granollers, Spain

As a THERMOS pilot city, Granollers is currently testing the THERMOS for the planning and implementation of a district heating network providing our largest industry complex – Congost - with low-carbon energy. Before the meeting with our replicator and twinning partners from Cascais, we knew they would like to benefit from our experience to supply new housing areas in Cascais with thermal heating and cooling themselves. Thus, we opted to organise several site visits to public and private collaboration system examples from district thermal energy practice in the Cataluña region to give our partners concrete impressions.

By outlining district energy network practices in Granollers, the meeting helped us to refine our own assessment of the potential for using the THERMOS software, while at the same time giving our Portuguese partners some solid numbers and estimations about requirements, costs and pre-conditions. 

For the second meeting, we hope to get a better idea of the context, practices and challenges of managing thermal infrastructure in Portugal. E.g. about what processes, services, stakeholders and authorities are involved in DHC planning in Cascais and what opportunities and challenges will likely have to be expected.


João Dinis, THERMOS replication city Cascais
Project Manager, Empresa Municipal de Ambiente de Cascais, Portugal

Already the first twinning meeting proved to be very beneficial for fostering district thermal systems in Cascais and beyond. The examined case studies provided us with some necessary data and a good idea of what to expect and aim for, as there is not only no existing district heating networking in Cascais, but also few to no practical examples in Portugal to learn from so far.

We have seen the potential for DHC in both energy savings and environmental impact (reduction of emissions). It was great to see the economic impact and benefits for clients and suppliers as well. A win-win technology. During the meeting we identified that Cascais has the necessary structure to manage DHC infrastructure and the THERMOS software.

We are now in the position to better assess what information we will need to use the THERMOS software (e.g.: classification of buildings, infrastructure costs, data privacy) and what governance model to put in place to involve the clients and technical partners adequately. 

Based on our exchange, we will now start to disseminate the tool among relevant stakeholders in the energy and acclimatization sector and amongst spatial planning professionals. For the coming months we hope that in using the software we will get a better picture about which areas are suited best. 

We are looking forward to hosting Granollers for the second round, to share our case study locations with them and to acquire additional expert feedback taking into account the spatial characteristics of our city.