DCS in Other Countries

District cooling techniques and development vary from one country to another. In many cases, DCS is integrated with district heating plant to form a District Heating and Cooling (DHC) network or a district energy system. DHC is found in many parts of the world, such as Japan, Canada, Middle East, Sweden, USA, France and other European countries.


Most Japanese use air conditioners to live indoors comfortably throughout the year. Some cities have district-wide heating and cooling systems, which distribute cold water, hot water, and steam produced at one or more heat generation plants, to buildings in a limited area to be used for cooling, heating, and hot-water supply.

The first district heating and cooling system in Japan was introduced at the site of Osaka EXPO in 1970. In those days, environmental pollution was becoming a serious issue as it grew with Japan's rapidly growing economy, and thus, the regulation of air pollution, in particular, was becoming more stringent. Many local governments were accelerating the adoption of district heating and cooling systems as an effective measure to mitigate air pollution, and this approach was rapidly introduced, particularly in metropolitan areas such as Tokyo.

At the end of 2007, the numbers of heat supply operators and service districts were 86 and 148, respectively. The total service district area was 44 million square meters and the total service floor area in buildings was 48 million square meters.

Shinjuku district heating and cooling system of Tokyo is the largest system in Japan. Cold water and steam generated with natural gas at the Shinjuku District Heating and Cooling Center are supplied to buildings in the system's service area for use by air conditioners. This center has freezing capacity of 208 MW and heat capacity of 173 MW in the total service floor area of 2.2 million square meters.

Other DCS projects in Japan include:

Project Cooling Capacity
Yokohama MM21 301 MW
Tokyo Marounouchi 232 MW
Osaka Airport 90 MW
Tokyo Arfino 89 MW
Tokyo Nishi-Shinjuku 1-chome Area 44 MW
Osaka Senri New Town 69.6 MW


District heating & cooling system has a well established history of helping communities across Canada to meet local heating and cooling demands. The first district energy system in Canada was introduced in the early 1880s in London Ontario, to meet the heating needs of university, hospital and government complexes. The first known commercial district energy system in Canada was established in 1924 in Winnipeg.

Until 2008, there were over 118 District heating & cooling systems were identified as contributing to providing heating, cooling and electricity requirements to meet the growing energy needs of cities and businesses across Canada. Currently, there is approximately 27 million square meters of commercial, residential, industrial and institutional floorspace connected to district energy systems in Canada. This represents nearly 1.30 percent of all residential, commercial and institutional floorspace in Canada. The building area serviced by district energy systems varies widely, with more established systems serving areas with approximately 250,000 square meters of floor space.

Middle East

The Middle East is heavily dependent on air conditioning systems and up to 70 percent of the power used during peak times in summer can be attributed to air conditioning systems.

An integrated district cooling plant (IDCP) has been opened in November 2010 on The Pearl-Qatar. It is the largest district cooling plant in the world, servicing for the 41,000 residents, hotels, shopping centres and other facilities on the island with a capacity of 130,000 tonnes of refrigeration.


In Sweden from early 1990's, District Cooling (DC) has had a rapid development. The first DHC plant in Sweden was commissioned in 1992 in the city of Västerås in central Sweden. Currently there are 16 DHC networks in Sweden. District Cooling production in Sweden has grown to the same size as the production of the much older product wind power. But there is a very important difference: Unlike wind power, District Cooling has been successfully established without any subsidies! The cooling business in Stockholm is run by the energy corporation Fortum and alone accounts for about half of the national supply. 7 000 000 square meters of commercial area in the Swedish Capital are supplied with District Cooling via the cooling distribution network, that is currently 76 kilometers long.

United States

The air-conditioning demand in the United States is one of the biggest in the world. The first district cooling system had been built in Denver in late 1889. Many early systems supplied ammonia and brine for refrigeration of meat, as well as cooling restaurants, theatres and other public buildings. Large district cooling systems were built in the 1930s in Rockefeller Center and the United States Capitol complex. The first commercial District Cooling System (DCS) has been in operation since 1962 at Hartford. There are now over 6,000 district heating and cooling systems providing 360,000 MWh of energy in the United States.

Other DCS projects in USA include:

Project Cooling Capacity
Boston 366 MW
Chicago Downtown 349 MW
New York International Business Centre 172 MW
The Pentagon 132 MW
Denver Airport 42 MW
Cleveland, Ohio 35 MW
New York Kennedy Airport 35 MW


France is a major country in Europe that utilises DHC. There are roughly 12 main DCS networks and many other systems similar to DCS operating. In La Défense, planning for DHC plant was started in 1963. The plant was commissioned in 1967. The heating capacity at the time was only 40MW and the cooling capacity was 4MW. Nowadays, the network is one of the world's largest networks and also the largest in Europe. In 1997, the total installed air-conditioning capacity based on district cooling amounted to 220MW.

Project Cooling Capacity
La Defense Business District 243 MW
City Centre of Paris 92 MW
Monaco 36 MW
Bordeaux Airport 24 MW