Asper supports the D2Grids project aiming to upscale 5th generation district heating and cooling

June 28, 2019

5G DHC is a concept which is currently largely unknown to the investor community. Yet, it has the potential to significantly contribute to the decarbonization of the heating & cooling sectors, and will likely require significant investment to roll-out. As commercialisation partner in this project, Asper will aim to assess the economic viability of the technology and stimulate interest from investors. With support from other project partners, Asper will develop project-specific business plans, focusing first on the proven experience in Heerlen, and applying lessons learned to the other pilot projects.

Press release – 21 June 2019:

D2GRIDS PROJECT LAUNCH : Rolling out 5G District Heating & Cooling A new Interreg NWE project

D2GRIDS is an acronym for ‘demand driven grids’. This new Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) project, coordinated by Mijnwater Ltd., aims to upscale 5th generation District Heating and Cooling (5G DHC) grids and apply it across 5 pilot sites in North West Europe. The 20 million EUR project is supported by Interreg funds, covering close to 60 % of the overall budget – 11,6 million euros. D2Grids first kick-off meeting, held in Heerlen, set the stage for three years of intense collaboration among European partners to roll out this proven technology.

What is 5G DHC ?

5G DHC is a smart thermal grid concept which aims to significantly reduce primary energy consumption and CO2 emissions to meet heat and cooling demand. Unlike conventional district heating, it is based on low temperatures and demand-driven energy flows. The concept drives efficiency from heating and cooling exchange on the grid and is supported by a network of decentralized heat pumps located at the point of consumption. It allows large scale utilization of low temperature waste heat, from data centers, supermarkets, industry, etc. Together, the five D2Grids partner pilot sites aim to connect ca. 50.000 m2 of dwellings and/or commercial buildings to a 5G DHC grid.

5G DHC was first developed in Heerlen by Mijnwater Ltd who is lead partner of this Interreg NWE D2grids project. Herman Eijdems, leading project manager describes his vision of 5G DHC : “The energy transition is the major challenge of this era; the 5G DHC concept, as such, is a powerful and affordable strategy to decarbonize building stocks in urban environments all over Europe. In the city of Heerlen we show this is a proven technology and are eager to share our expertise and experience to accelerate the developments in other locations.”

Asper as commercialisation partner

5G DHC is a concept which is currently largely unknown to the investor community. Yet, it has the potential to significantly contribute to the decarbonization of the heating & cooling sectors, and will likely require significant investment to roll-out. As commercialisation partner in this project, Asper will aim to assess the economic viability of the technology and stimulate interest from investors. With support from other project partners, Asper will develop project-specific business plans, focusing first on the proven experience in Heerlen, and applying lessons learned to the other pilot projects.

Olivier Delpon de Vaux, Director at Asper: “Decarbonising the heat sector is one of the biggest challenges we face as a society and sustainable heat is a key pillar of Asper’s investment focus. As such, we are delighted to support the D2Grids project. As an experienced investor in the space, we will aim to leverage our understanding of the asset class and our access to the investor community to accelerate the roll-out of this high potential technology.”

Attracting stakeholders to roll out the technology

5G DHC grids will be developed across five pilot sites in Paris-Saclay (FR), Bochum (GE), Brunssum (NL), Glasgow and Nottingham (UK). Upscaling the technology through transnational cooperation enables the consortium to raise interest from the industry and aiming to modularize key components and reduce costs by up to 20%.

VITO/Energyville in Belgium is a key project partner responsible for industrializing the 5G DHC concept and evaluate results. Open University, a partner in the project bringing in expertise on post-graduate and digital learning, will set up dedicated education and training programs.

Commissioned by Mijnwater the application was successfully constructed by EUQuest in Heerlen and Grants Europe Consulting in Budapest.

Asper is a specialist investment firm that focuses on private investments in sustainable real assets, including renewable power, sustainable heat and other clean infrastructure. It serves institutional investors such as pension funds, insurance companies and funds-of-funds.

Decarbonisation of the heating sector is a key pillar of Asper’s investment strategy. Asper has been investing in the sector since 2014, when it set up its portfolio company Vasa Värme which owns and operates 6 biomass-fuelled district heating networks across Sweden, delivering c180GWh of low carbon heat to over 1,000 customers.

About Asper

Asper was previously part of the private equity firm Hg, which it replaced as manager of two dedicated renewable energy funds with total AUM of €850m. In December 2017 Asper and Hg jointly announced the spinout of the renewable energy team and funds to Asper. www.asper-im.com

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