NCS3 - Prestudy District Heating


  • Christian Valassi
  • Lars Westerdahl
  • Amund Gudmundson Hunstad

Publish date: 2019-03-27

Report number: FOI-R--4738--SE

Pages: 43

Written in: Swedish


  • District heating
  • Industrial information and control systems
  • Industrial Control Systems.


The aim of this report is to describe the challenges faced by the district heating industry in the coming three to five years. The report is primarily focused on technical challenges pertaining to industrial control systems, but other influential problems such as economy and legal issues are also discussed. In order to reach the aforementioned aim, researchers performed two rounds of information gathering. First, a literature study was conducted in order to describe the industry as a whole, with regards to technology, legal issues and regulation, as well as overall economy. The literature study was then supplemented with a series of interviews with interviewees from various relevant areas in the industry as well as academic researchers. The results of the combined information gathering procedures show that district heating is a robust and resilient alternative for heat generation and distribution. Although, there are a number of critical external dependencies, such as the need for electricity, water and fuel. Based on the results it was concluded that there currently does not exists any significant threats to district heating as an industry. The reason for this conclusion is mainly based on the notion that a disruption in the district heating procedure usually only has local consequences, such as in the city grid where the production plant is situated. In contrast, an attack on the electrical power generation or distribution will most likely have far greater consequences, that may affect an entire region, or larger parts of the country. An attack on electrical power generation will also affect district heating because of the critical dependency on electrical power. The results show a clear difference in operational security and information security. Generally, producers have good preparedness and routines for physical safety. The industry as a whole, like many other energy industries, is characterized by a tradition of isolation and a focus on safety rather than security. Information security is a relatively new area for the industry and is only now becoming a priority because of several large-scale attacks and incidents that have affected other industries. A continued focus on energy efficiency, the competitive situation and profitability are expected for the near future of the industry, where the fourth generation of district heating combined with Smart Grid technology are expected to be important factors.