News: insight into the energy transition

The planet's population will grow by 75 million people a year between now and 2040. 75 million people in addition to the seven billion human beings who already live on Earth. All of them will need food, lodging, transport and heating.

Dalkia and the energy transition

Rising demand will require better use of the energy available to overcome at least three key challenges:

  • Resource scarcity: 90% of our energy currently comes from non-renewable sources (oil, gas and coal), which will eventually run out;
  • Cost of energy: a growing population and dwindling resources will push up the cost of energy, irrespective of any cyclical downturns;
  • Global warming: most of today's energy is produced by burning fossil fuels, which give off greenhouse gases that adversely affect the planet's climate.

France recently introduced an energy transition law in a bid to tackle these problems. The law sets two key targets for the country: reduce energy consumption and develop renewables. Both are pillars of Dalkia's strategy, which is designed to help customers cut their energy bill and reduce their carbon footprint.

We ensure cost-effective heating investments through long-term energy performance contracts for all types of buildings, including housing, offices and factories, along with innovative remote management solutions through the Dalkia Energy Savings Center (DESC). We also develop the use of clean energy sources like geothermal, wood, solar, and biogas as well as energy recovery solutions, using the heat given off by datacenters, blast furnaces and municipal waste incinerators. All of this underpins our drive to help regions make the energy transition a reality through three complementary areas of business:

Greater Dijon

The forests of the Morvan, Jura and Châtillonnais regions provide fuel for the Péjoces heating plant, which opened in December 2014 in Dijon, in eastern France. Deadwood, sawmill by-products, trimmed branches and similar feedstock is used to raise the temperature of the water in the pipes to transfer its heat to customers in the north-eastern part of the city and the neighbouring commune of Quétigny. The eco-friendly facility is an addition to the municipal waste incinerator built in winter 2013-2014. The Greater Dijon heating network now obtains 80% of its fuel from renewable sources.

Heating networks

Heating networks provide heating and hot water to an entire district, city or conurbation. They provide two main benefits:

  1. The environment. Although heating networks traditionally used fossil fuels, they have now reached a turning point in the use of renewables. Heat from wood fuel, geothermal wells, datacentres and municipal waste incinerators now represents 40% of their energy mix, compared with just 25% in 2005. The government has good reason to see heating networks as a mainstay of the drive to meet targets introduced under the energy transition law. The amount of heating provided by renewable and recovered sources is set to increase fivefold by 2030.
  2. Purchasing power. Heating networks provide an inexpensive source of energy largely because the energy is produced in bulk, which reduces maintenance costs. Heating networks also benefit from reduced VAT when they use more than 50% renewables in the energy mix. As a result, they are a good way to achieve a combination of savings and sustainability.

Dynacité in Rhône-Alpes

How do you go about reducing the energy bill for 13,500 apartments in low-rise buildings heated by no fewer than 447 boiler rooms? This was the challenge faced by Dynacité, a key provider of social housing in the Rhône-Alpes region, which signed an energy performance contract with Dalkia leading to a three-part action plan designed to:

  1. modernise facilities, build heating networks and install condensing or wood-pellet boilers;
  2. create "eco-participation committees" to make residents more aware of energy savings;
  3. continuously monitor energy use and pool technician resources to reduce operating costs and call-out times.

Energy efficiency of buildings

When it comes to buildings, one of Dalkia's greatest assets lies in our ability to handle the entire energy value chain. We provide a comprehensive range of services for each building. These services include providing an energy audit, drawing up an action plan to reduce consumption, finding funding, ensuring the best technical and environmental solution (using the most efficient work packages for heating facilities and the building shell while creating a green, competitive energy mix that includes clean sources like geothermal, biomass and solar), providing maintenance and raising occupants' awareness of ways in which energy can be used more efficiently in the building. We can also manage energy efficiency remotely through the Dalkia Energy Savings Center (DESC). The DESC uses a digital network to enable real-time data collection and analysis by experts, who can then request that work be carried out quickly by technicians on site.

Tour First tower block in Paris business district

High-rise buildings are generally seen as big energy users. In most cases, rightfully so. Tour First stands 231 metres tall, with 52 floors and 4,900 occupants. The building was designed in the seventies and at the time was the "perfect" example of an energy-hungry behemoth. But times change. By installing a gas-fired boiler on the roof and heat pumps on different floors, Dalkia reduced the tower block's energy consumption by 15% in the first year of operations. This is an area in which we have extensive experience: we manage 20% of high-rise buildings in France.

Environmental impact and performance of factories

Dalkia specialises in supplying high-pressure steam, hot water, compressed air and cogeneration solutions and also helps companies to reduce their energy consumption through an array of services ranging from individual assessments to optimisation of sourcing and maintenance contracts.


Dalkia recovers heat from a plant owned by the steel giant ArcelorMittal in Dunkirk. This heat is fed into the city's district heating network, which gives ArcelorMittal a revenue stream from the heat it produces as a by-product of industrial processes while reducing its ecological footprint. Dalkia also manages environmental issues related to dust emissions.