As climate neutrality is needed more than ever, the City of Antwerp, Fluvius and the University of Antwerp are joining forces for the new Heat Networks Chair. One of the key elements is the construction of heat networks powered by residual heat and green heating. The chair’s research investigates which areas are the most appropriate for rolling out these heat networks, what they should look like and when to take which actions.


The Heat Networks Chair aims to facilitate the optimal roll-out of heat networks, taking into account techno-economic challenges and changes. From both a technical and organisational perspective, and with attention to legal and economic aspects. For instance, which market and rate structures will support or oppose this optimisation? Heat networks are, after all, often the final link in the optimisation of energy supply to an area and offer the necessary flexibility to other energy networks.


To obtain its goal, the Chair investigates a number of aspects:

  • Developing a network topology for a particular zone/case study, taking into account local energy demand/production and how these evolve over time, as well as the possibilities for decentralised generation and storage and the technical application of heat transmission between different networks;

  • Documenting the context of a heat model that can form a legal/economic backbone for the further roll-out of optimally functioning heat networks.

By investigating these matters, we create the necessary academic foundation for policy decision making concerning a differentiated and phased roll-out of heat networks.

  • Chair holder: prof. dr. Ir. Ivan Verhaert
  • Faculty: Applied Engineering/ Institute for Environment and Sustainable Development IMDO
  • Active: since 2022
  • Partners: Fluvius and City of Antwerp