Assessing the feasibility of cogeneration retrofit and district heating/cooling networks in small Italian islands

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainability of energy supply strategies in small islands has been emerging as a severe issue, due to the large margins for improvement and rationalization of the most frequently adopted solutions. In most of the European islands, large amounts of heat are wasted by the operation of engine-based power plants; conversely, heat is produced by boilers (supplied by liquid fuels) or by electric equipment for a number of different uses, like domestic hot water production or space heating in winter. In this paper a techno-economic analysis is proposed to assess the feasibility of CHP-retrofit of the existing power plants and the possible utilization of the recovered heat to supply, via a district heating and/or cooling network, the energy requests of civil energy users (both in the tertiary and in the residential sector). The analysis is accurately performed for six islands located in Italy and characterised by different context conditions from a demographic, geographic and climatic viewpoint, so as to get a comprehensive understanding of the factors that favour/obstruct the economic feasibility of the examined technical solution. As expected, due to the low “linear heat density” usually observed in small islands and to the complex orographic profiles, the investment usually resulted “far from being attractive”; only in the case where public incentive or support mechanism is adopted, the possible integration of the existing power plants with heat recovery devices and a district heating network resulted in moderately attractive, especially in the largest examined islands due to their highest heat loads.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2572-2586
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Pollution
  • Energy(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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