Over the last few years, the fuel use for DH&C in Spain has shifted from a deep reliance on fossil fuels in 2013 to the predominance of biomass in 2017, which is the result of the development of DH&C in small and medium-sized municipalities that have chosen centralized heat and cold generation over individual generation as a tool to produce heat in a more affordable, efficient and environmentally-friendly way.
According to the yearly monitor on District Heating and Cooling networks, published by the Spanish Business Association of DH&C ADHAC, 47.38% of the total DH&C installed capacity in 2013 corresponded to natural gas, 25.85% to renewable energies (mainly biomass), 24.77% to electricity and 2% gas/oil.
In 2017, the composition of the energy mix has experienced significant changes with the consolidation of the binomial biomass/natural gas, which represents 85% of the total installed capacity. These include the ones reliant exclusively on biomass (73% of the total) and DH&C systems based exclusively on natural gas (12%).
The Spanish DH&C market has grown steadily over the last five years, both in the number of networks and installed capacity. In 2011, the monitor identified 46 DH&C operating networks. This amount has increased at an average rate of 20% every year since then.
As of 2017, there are 348 identified networks in operation, according to the yearly monitor on District Heating and Cooling networks published by the Spanish Business Association of DH&C –ADHAC- since 2013. This number includes over 60 systems that generate heat and cold, which account for almost all cold generated in DC in Spain.