Power-to-Heat Systems: A Deep Dive into Impactful Projects and Case Studies

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Power-to-heat (P2H) systems have been the cornerstone of numerous global initiatives aiming to transition towards a greener, more sustainable future. In this blog post, we highlight some of the most impactful P2H projects and case studies from around the world.

Vattenfall’s Power-to-Heat Initiatives in Germany

Vattenfall, a Swedish utility company, has set up a successful power-to-heat operation in Hamburg, Germany. Here, the company operates an electric boiler that uses excess wind generation to avoid curtailment of wind power. The concept is further extended to Berlin, where Vattenfall is investing in P2H boilers to generate district heat.

These boilers utilize electricity from renewable energy sources to heat water, which is then used for heating residences and commercial buildings. In Berlin, the electric boilers have replaced one unit in a coal-fired plant, providing a total capacity of 330 MWh and significantly reducing the use of fossil fuels in heating applications.

Heat Smart Orkney: Power-to-Heat in Scotland

The Orkney ANM, showing the various zones of the local network

The Scottish government, through the Heat Smart Orkney project, has introduced a unique wind power-to-heat scheme. In this initiative, households are equipped with energy-efficient heating devices that consume excess power generated from a community-owned wind turbine.

These household heating devices are connected to the internet and are automatically switched on when the wind turbine receives a curtailment signal. This innovative approach ensures that excess power from wind energy is converted to heat, promoting energy efficiency and optimal use of renewable resources.

Power-to-Heat Expansion in Aarhus, Denmark

Replacing the old heat exchangers’ plates with new ones at AffaldVarme Aarhus

Aarhus, a city in Denmark, expanded the capacity of an existing combined heat and power plant by adding an 80 MW electric boiler and a 2 MW electric heat pump in 2015. These additions were made to provide district heating to the neighbourhood.

The boiler and heat pump are designed to consume excess wind generation, which is typically greatest in winter months, coinciding with increased demand for heat. Plans are in place to further expand the heat pump’s capacity up to 14 MW, based on the performance of the existing heat pump.

District Heating Network in Qingdao, China

Heating area transition from 2012 to 2020 in norther china

The city of Qingdao in China is investing a massive USD 3.5 billion to build a district heating network. The district heating systems will leverage heat pumps that extract heat from the air, the ground, and waste heat from industries, transferring this heat to city buildings.

Qingdao District Heating & Power Co. is also investing in upgrading buildings to be compatible with the district heating network. This ambitious project aims to use clean energy sources for all its heating needs, which would result in a reduction of coal consumption by over 3 million tones annually.


Power-to-heat systems are demonstrating their enormous potential to revolutionize our energy landscape, as evident from these projects and case studies. Whether it’s Vattenfall’s operation in Germany, the Heat Smart Orkney project in Scotland, the power-to-heat expansion in Aarhus, Denmark, or the massive district heating network project in Qingdao, China, each of these cases exemplifies a successful effort towards a greener and more sustainable future. As these initiatives continue to evolve and expand, we can look forward to a world where power-to-heat systems are a ubiquitous component of our global energy ecosystem.


1. eog magazine –https://energy-oil-gas.com/news/vattenfall-5/ 

2.HSO report – https://localenergy.scot/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/HSO-report-Final-Version-for-LECF-Nov-2020.pdf

3.Danfoss report – https://www.danfoss.com/en/service-and-support/case-stories/dhs/major-renovation-of-district-heating-facility-in-aarhus-denmark/

4.Sciencedirect – https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2021.120765