Transition of the district heating (DH) system to the 4th generation system involves several challenges, which refer not only to the introduction of state-of-art technologies, but also to the development of a sustainable pricing methodology. Introduction of the 4th generation systems will soon force the DH industry to solve issues regarding the possibility of organisation of the market in the same way as it happened in the power industry (Directive 2009/72/EC) by complete separation of producers from the transmission system service providers. The present article discusses various development scenarios of a DH utility within the framework of an organised market and their pricing methodologies, as well as evaluates their sustainability considering the transition to the 4th generation system.
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