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Climate protection is being backed up by concrete climate protection targets in more and more municipalities. In the case of new housing developments, the planning process offers an excellent opportunity to influence the energy supply and the contribution to climate protection goals.

Against this background, the municipality of Selm commissioned the development of an energy concept for a new housing area with 464 residential units in 138 buildings.


A sustainable energy supply should, if possible, make a contribution to achieving the climate protection goals on the one hand and be economical on the other. For this purpose, centralised supply options (with local heating networks) were to be investigated for the municipality of Selm.


Within the framework of a solar energy simulation, the development plan was first changed in order to achieve the highest possible solar yield (passive solar gain and PV) for as many buildings as possible through a north-south orientation. Accordingly, PV systems were designed for all buildings.

In order to arrive at a suitable heat supply solution for the new neighbourhood, possible technologies were identified next, such as:

  • Biomass systems
  • Biogas plants
  • Solar thermal systems
  • Heat pumps
  • Use of PV for heating support
  • Industrial energy efficiency (use of waste heat)

A potential analysis was then carried out to check the feasibility at the Selm site. The heat supply variants identified in this process were finally tested for economic efficiency and CO2 emissions and compared with each other.


As a result, heat pumps or biomass heating systems were identified as possible options, which could be supported by a photovoltaic system. In the case of single-family houses, pellet heating is more economical than air source heat pumps (AHPs) with PV. Whereas in the case of multi-family houses, AHPs with PV and biomass heating are very close to each other in terms of cost-effectiveness.

The identified variants are decentralised solutions. This means that each heating system supplies one associated house. Due to the elimination of centralised supply variants, in which a heating system supplies heat to several buildings via a local heating network, the final investment decision for the decentralised systems can be postponed to a later date, for example when updated prices are available.

With the creation of this energy and heat supply concept by DFIC, valuable findings could be incorporated into the planning of the new development area in the municipality of Selm and a significant contribution to climate protection could be guaranteed.

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