The European Union is funding scientific research through the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. Since the key priorities for the next few decades are the reduction in carbon emissions and the enhancement of energy system conversion efficiency, a collection of the most recent research projects can be beneficial to researchers and stakeholders who want to easily access and identify recent innovation in the energy sector. This paper proposes an overview of the Horizon 2020 projects on smart distributed energy systems, with particular focus on heating and cooling networks and their efficient management and control. The characteristics of the selected projects are summarized, and the relevant features, including the energy vectors involved, main applications and expected outputs are reported and analyzed. The resulting framework fosters the deployment of digital technologies and software platforms to achieve smart and optimized energy systems.
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