Improving the Efficiency of District Heating and Cooling Using a Geothermal Technology: Underground Thermal Energy Storage (UTES)

Jessica Maria Chicco, Dragi Antonijevic, Martin Bloemendal, Francesco Cecinato, Gregor Goetzl, Marek Hajto, Niels Hartog, Giuseppe Mandrone, Damiano Vacha*, Philip J. Vardon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


For efficient operation of heating and cooling grids, underground thermal energy storage (UTES) can be a key element. This is due to its ability to seasonally store heat or cold addressing the large mismatch between supply and demand. This technology is already available and there are many operational examples, both within and outside a district heating network. Given the range of available UTES technologies, they are feasible to install almost everywhere. Compared to other storage systems, UTES have the advantage of being able to manage large quantities and fluxes of heat without occupying much surface area, although the storage characteristics are always site specific and depend on the geological and geothermal characteristics of the subsoil. UTES can manage fluctuating production from renewable energy sources, both in the short and long term, and fluctuating demand. It can be used as an instrument to exploit heat available from various sources, e.g., solar, waste heat from industry, geothermal, within the same district heating system. The optimization of energy production, the reduction in consumption of primary energy and the reduction in emission of greenhouse gases are guaranteed with UTES, especially when coupled with district heating and cooling networks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Metropolitan Perspectives - Post COVID Dynamics
Subtitle of host publicationGreen and Digital Transition, between Metropolitan and Return to Villages Perspectives
EditorsFrancesco Calabrò, Lucia Della Spina, María José Piñeira Mantiñán
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783031068249
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event5th International Symposium on New Metropolitan Perspectives, NMP 2022 - Reggio Calabria, Italy
Duration: 25 May 202227 May 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Networks and Systems
Volume482 LNNS
ISSN (Print)2367-3370
ISSN (Electronic)2367-3389


Conference5th International Symposium on New Metropolitan Perspectives, NMP 2022
CityReggio Calabria

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Buildings energy retrofitting
  • District heating/cooling
  • Energy transition
  • Geothermal
  • UTES


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