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Europe is facing a great technical and regulatory challenge in transitioning the energy supply from fossil fuels to sustainable renewables. Within the heating sector, the Heat Roadmap Europe studies has demonstrated large potentials and benefits from expanding district heating (DH) throughout the continent. However, as a monopoly structure, district heating grids require well thought-out regulatory regimes to be accepted by cities and consumers. Founded upon the approach of concrete institutional economics, this paper contributes to the literature on DH regulation by reviewing and describing regulatory experiences across Europe. The paper demonstrates that a wide range of regulatory mechanisms are available for implementing DH.
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