Before starting the development of the Hotmaps toolbox, the tool needs have been investigated form a user perspective. Each of the seven pilot areas have given their input regarding local challenges and needs in relation to local heating and cooling planning. Furthermore, inputs have been gathered through interviews with energy planning experts in pilot areas, follower areas, and other experts to prioritise and elaborate further on user needs.
After a final discussion, the Hotmaps consortium agreed that the following user needs should have high priority in the software development phase of the Hotmaps project:
- Overview of the existing heating and cooling infrastructure;
- Mapping possibilities for new district heating and cooling areas;
- Mapping location of heat demand;
- Mapping potential of utilising industrial excess heat for domestic heating and cooling;
- Mapping potential of using local heat sources for large scale heat pumps for heating and cooling;
- Cost of individual heating and cooling (natural gas, heating oil, heat pumps, wood pellets, etc.);
- Cost of district heating and cooling from new or existing plant;
- Mapping local renewable energy resources (biomass, solar, etc.);
- Increase in renewable energy in future scenarios;
- Compare relevant future heating and cooling scenarios to a reference scenario;
- CO2-reduction potential in future scenarios;
- Share of local fuels in future scenarios.