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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Article
  • Data

Regional Focus


District Heating

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  • This article details the costs, benefits, and feasibility of centralized hot water heating systems as a climate solution that saves money and reduces emissions, especially if they're powered by renewable energy.
  • Students will learn about district heating, which involves a network of pipes that can heat multiple buildings from one location, and the sources of energy that can be used to heat the water. 
  • Renewable district heating could save trillions of dollars in energy costs by 2050 while simultaneously reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Teaching Tips


  • This article examines two adoption scenarios for renewable district heating.
  • Credible international agencies are cited in this article.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand where carbon dioxide emissions come from and how they contribute to climate change.
  • Students should have a basic understanding of biomass, solar, and geothermal energy.


  • Students could use this article for an informative essay on technological solutions to climate change.
  • For this article, teachers could go over the main idea of key paragraphs in order to ensure comprehension.
  • Students could read this article and look at the Table of Solutions to see how it ranks as a climate solution compared to other energy solutions.
  • Students could use this article to prepare for an in-class discussion on why most countries continue to heavily rely on fossil fuels, what steps are needed to increase the adoption of renewable energy solutions, and how the costs and benefits can be accounted for.
  • Some students may benefit from a graphic organizer, such as a compare/contrast chart or guided notes, in order to facilitate comprehension.
Scientist Notes
This resource introduces a solution to reducing emissions by heating buildings using hot water. A brief introduction of reducing emissions by replacing single building water and space heating systems with a central heating system. The methodology, scenarios, and models are provided, along with the results and a discussion concerning the feasibility of central heating systems. This resource would be a great addition to a lesson discussing alternative methods to reducing carbon emissions and it is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.9-10.8 Describe and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and reasoning.
      • RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development and how they interact to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • RST.11-12.8 Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1. Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
      • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
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