Heat Highway

Foto © getty/119744231

The use of industrial waste heat is essential for the decarbonisation of heat supply. While the electricity transmission grid connects many generation, storage and consumption units, current options for waste heat injection and interregional exchange are limited. Heat Highway is therefore investigating interregional heat transfer networks (HTN), which combines four areas: industrial waste heat and other sustainable sources, district heating networks, industrial process heat sinks and storage. These HTNs connect consumption centers and industrial sites, by travelling through areas with other heat sources and sinks. The project reduces risks by including many supply and demand nodes and creating innovative business models. The concept will go far beyond the state of the art in terms of the number of actors, interregionality and networking.

„District heating transmission networks are the “third dimension” missing from a sustainable, highly efficient, exergy-oriented energy system, alongside the large electricity and gas grids.“

Simon Moser
Project manager Heat Highway,
Energieinstitut an der Johannes Kepler Universität Linz

Heat Highway is developing two 100 km HTN in Upper Austria and Styria and is advancing three sections towards practical implementation: it is preparing KPC investment funding applications for the Upper Austrian HTN sections “Central Region” and “Linz” and initialising the next steps and the stakeholder participation in Styria. Heat Highway aims to develop an interdisciplinary toolbox for HTN implementation, to anticipate the medium-term use of waste heat from innovative processes and finally, to develop a cost-effective pipe system.

One highlight of the project will be the „Lean-Pipe-Prototype “, that will show the technical controllability of a system with several players of a “virtual HTN demonstrator” based on 3D simulations. The fact that the system is tested in four “follower regions” ensures reproducibility.


  1. Best practice interviews and review concluded
  2. Legal status quo analysis conducted
  3. Characteristic model cases defined
  4. Competing solutions assessed
  5. Further potentials assessed – generic and for WP4-7
  6. Flow calculation tool set up
  7. Control algorithm tool set up
  8. Organization tool (network codes guideline) set up
  9. Business plans tool set up
  10. Lean pipeline prototype completed
  11. Linz KPC funding request ready to be submitted
  12. HTN Zentralraum KPC funding request ready to be submitted
  13. Styria stakeholder action plan and workshop
  14. Tyrol eastern “Inntal” heat sinks and sources
  15. “Innviertel” heat sinks and sources
  16. „St. Pölten” & “Vienna South” – stakeholder involvement
  17. Virtual demonstration for stakeholder promotion events

Das Projekt Heat Highway trägt zu den NEFI-Innovationsfeldern „Industry to Grid“, „System Solutions & Infrastructure“ und „New Business Models“ bei.


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Project overview