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Environmental benefits of cogeneration and district heating

Through the companies A2A Calore & Servizi and Varese Risorse, the A2A Group constructs and manages the district heating, and in some cases the district cooling, plants and networks in the cities of Milan, Bergamo, Brescia and Varese and in certain municipalities of the respective provinces. District heating is a service with centralised production for the urban distribution of heat for heating environments and producing hot water. The installed thermal power at the plants amounts to 1,428 MWt  and this is obtained by means of various efficient plant solutions such as cogeneration systems (the combined and simultaneous production of electricity and heat), heat recovery and heat pumps. These technologies enable fuel savings to be made, when compared to the separate production of electricity and heat in traditional plants, and a proportional saving in CO2 emissions to be achieved.

Actual 2011Development by 2014
 Network development (double pipe) kmBuildings connected* (users) no.Volume served Mm3Equivalent apartments** no.Volume served Mm3
Bergamo  Area 37.1 324 4.1 17,100 7.2
Brescia Area 634.9 20,096 41 171,000 42.6
Milano Area 205.6 1,891 29.6 123,500 47
Varese Area 16 137 2.5 10,600 2.7
  893.6 22,448 77.2 322,200 99.5
* Users may be an individual residential unit in the case of independent heating or the whole building in the case of centralised heating ** Apartment equivalent = 80 square metres

A2A also manages the district heating service in France through its subsidiary A2A Coriance. Energy is produced in 28 plants consisting of cogeneration plants, heat pumps, gas and biomass boilers and heat recovery from industrial sites, such as waste to energy plants. Installed thermal power totals 680 MWt.