About the initiative

The Heat Map of Luxembourg:


an initiative for thermal energy management at local, regional and national level!


Many companies in Luxembourg are confronted with excess heat, which is not only wasted by not being used for other purposes, but can also be expensive to remove. Ideally, this heat should be reused on-site for other thermal processes, but companies often still find themselves using cooling towers because an economically viable solution for heat recovery is not available. On the other hand, the rising costs of fossil fuels as well as concerns about climate change are increasing the demand for alternative sources of thermal energy for use in industrial processes, domestic heating demand, etc.

A major challenge to national heat recovery concepts is that information is not shared between excess heat emitters and heat users. Also, new possibilities of transporting heat via mobile systems (e.g. trucks or rail) increasing the possibilites for regional heat management are not considered. Considering these aspects, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) concluded that a heat map of Luxembourg, providing information on thermal energy, would support initiatives aiming at increasing energy efficiency and reducing environmental impacts through local or regional heat management



The Heat Map currently provides information on the availability of excess heat, and will soon provide information on heat demand and heating infrastructures (backup systems, distribution, transport routes, storage). Based on this data, local actors can assess the potential for excess heat recovery, transport and use.


Development of research activities

The research project SMARTHEATFLOW, cofunded by the EU, was launched in 2012 by CRP Henri Tudor - that, on January 1st, 2015 has merged with CRP Gabriel Lippmann to become the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST).

Through an online questionnaire, LIST gathers data on the excess heat available from companies willing to participate. Although, for confidentiality reasons, only a small part of this data can be published, has detailed information on the thermal energy (temperature levels, technical barriers, level of internal heat recovery, etc.) of several companies in Luxembourg (see the questionnaire on excess heat sources for a full overview of the data gathered).

The project team also developed two other questionnaires to gather data on thermal energy plants (cogeneration, biomass plants) and district heating systems. These energy plants would play the role of backup systems in case of unavailability of excess heat, while district heating systems would be used for excess heat distribution. A method to determine the heating demand of buildings at local level (as a top-down approach) is also in development. The data will be published on the Heat Map on an ongoing basis as new information is received.

While the SmartHeatFlow project came to an end in March 2014, a PhD thesis, OptiHeat, began in September 2013. This thesis develops a mathematical optimisation method to manage thermal energy across regions and countries, while aiming to keep costs and CO2 emissions low. The Heat Map is therefore being further expanded, as Luxembourg serves as a case-study to test the optimisation methodology.