What is the problem?

Despite the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate mitigation policies, we continue to burn fossil fuels. 
One of the solutions at local scale is DH - district heating networks powered by renewable energy sources (RES) that adapt to the resources of each territory, whether it is solar, biomass, waste heat, heat pumps or geothermal energy.

The situation so far:
Only a handful of central European regions have so far introduced effective policies promoting high-renewables DH. EU incentive schemes have boosted this process, especially in areas not reached by natural gas or where wood biomass is locally available. However, a significant number of these investments is experiencing sustainability problems, both from a technical and economic perspective.

What ENTRAIN aims to achieve...

ENTRAIN wants to encourage the adoption of a systematic and efficient energy planning able to reduce the local carbon footprint, intensifying the use of RES. The two main goals: CO2 emissions reduction and the resulting improvement of the local air quality, alongside socio-economic benefits for local communities of the 5 key regions in Italy, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Poland.

...and how
This can be possible only through the growth of technical expertise, the start-up of investments and innovative financial tools.
It is necessary to take the example from the best in this field: Austria and Germany, regions with advanced planning capacities and long-term experience will give guidelines on heat planning and quality criteria. ENTRAIN will start 9 pilot local DH networks and 9 heat planning studies, together with the development of 3 innovative financial schemes and the adaptation and adoption of the Austrian “QM Holzheizwerke” quality management system.

ENTRAIN: “Enhancing renewable heat planning for improving the air quality of communities”

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Project outputs:
the first step has been "preparing the local ground", with an initial survey of the target areas, guidelines for the evaluation of renewable heat potential and the actual evaluation for the 5 target regions.
These studies will be the base for the action plans and pilot projects.

To zoom-in to each region and read documents in national language, go to the regional section.

training toolbox

All training material is divided into 4 target groups: look at the categories and go to each dedicated section!


QM-Quality Management system documents and tools:
District heating systems with high shares of renewable energy sources and focusing on quality: this is one of the main objectives of the ENTRAIN project. The ENTRAIN working group has translated in English and national languages the quality management (QM) system for biomass district heating (DH) plants "QM Holzheizwerke®" (QM for Biomass DH Plants) www.qm-biomass-dh-plants.com
We are also currently updating and enhancing it through the integration of other energy sources (such as solar thermal, geothermal, waste heat from industrial or commercial recovery, heat pumps) and the adaptation of new standards regarding flexible DH solutions. QM for Biomass DH Plants defines a process and quality requirements to guide biomass DH plants from planning to optimised operation. This QM system originated in Switzerland and then spread to Austria, Germany and with support by the ENTRAIN project recently also to Italy.

Click here for a short description of each tool.

To zoom-in to each region and read documents in national language, go to the regional section.


Let's learn from our expert partners! We have planned 5 train-the-trainers sessions in which the consortium and external guests are going to benefit from our German and Austrian partners' knowledge and experience in renewable district heating. Training is based on the QM system and guidelines but covers funding/economy, operation and optimisation, consumer relations, emissions/air quality, fuel and ash logistic as well.
Trainings nr. 2, 3 and 4 have been recorded: watch them HERE

study tours

local trainings 1
local trainings 2
local trainings 3
local trainings 4
local trainings 5





back to the beginning

Would you like to discover the beginning of ENTRAIN's story?

How and when we first met, what were the first steps...

Find it out here!

key figures


Target regions


Pilot local
DH networks


Local action plans


Training sessions


Start Date


End Date



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Newsletter 2021

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