Next generation of heat networks to power UK’s green revolution

Next generation of heat networks to power UK's green revolution.

Homes and businesses will be made greener as low-carbon energy is placed at the heart of the latest round of funding for heat network projects in England.

A new £270 million Green Heat Network Fund, announced by the government, will only support low-carbon technologies like heat pumps, solar and geothermal energy in the roll out of the next generation of heat networks which will enable more towns and cities to take up this tried and tested technology from 2022.

Energy Minister Lord Callanan said, “Finding a mix of innovative solutions to how we heat our homes in the most affordable way is going to be vital as we support people to gradually transition away from gas boilers over the next 15 years.

“Today’s announcement shows we are going even further in our goals to expand this tried and tested heat networks technology, making even more use of the likes of recovered heat from the London Underground to heat our homes.

“The Green Heat Network Fund will also allow us to drive forward the new, cost-effective and low-carbon technologies we need to kick-start new industries and support new jobs in the low-carbon technology sector as we build back greener from the pandemic,” he added on September 7.

Heat networks supply heat to buildings from a central source, avoiding the need for households and workplaces to have individual, energy-intensive heating solutions such as gas boilers. At present, there are over 14,000 heat networks in the UK, providing heating and hot water to around 480,000 consumers.

Heat networks have the potential to be a cost-effective way of reducing carbon emissions from heating. They are the only way that larger-scale renewable and recovered heat sources – like the heat from large rivers and urban recovered heat, such as from the London Underground – can be utilised.

With heat in buildings being one of the largest sources of UK carbon emissions, accounting for 21 per cent of the total, there is an urgent need to deliver a mix of new, low-carbon heating solutions to meet our legally-binding target to end the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050.

Although heat networks currently meet approximately two per cent of the overall UK demand for heating, the independent Committee on Climate Change has estimated that, with continued support, they could provide 18 per cent by 2050.


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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