District heating systems: An analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the 4GDH

Gerald Schweiger*, Fabian Kuttin, Alfred Posch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fourth-generation district heating networks (4GDH) can play a special role in the efficient and climate-friendly use of energy. In this study, we have examined the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of this innovative technology. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods, we assessed the SWOT-factors in terms of their importance. Among the factors that were weighted with the highest relative importance were the ability of 4GDH to serve as a label bundling and stimulating considerations with respect to the further development of district heating systems and the increased value creation within the national economy through the inclusion of local, renewable energy sources. Moreover, the interviewed experts agreed that regulatory frameworks in the context of 4GDH have to be further developed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4748
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2019


  • 4GDH
  • District heating
  • SWOT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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