Heat networks could save UK economy £3bn during transition to low carbon

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
The ETI argued heat network capital costs could be reduced by 30-40%

Heat networks could decrease the cost of the UK’s low carbon transition by £3bn, argues a new Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) report.

The District Heat Networks in the UK: Potential, Barriers and Opportunities report noted capital costs are the main barrier to more heat networks from being built.

Yet by using the eight cost saving route maps written in the report, these capital costs could be reduced by 30-40%, the ETI argued.

This would make heat networks more appealing compared to other forms of low carbon heat provision.

Nearly half of heat demand in the country could be met by heat networks by 2050, the ETI claimed but the sector needs to be mobilised quickly.

Rebecca Sweeney, programme manager at ESD and SSH, said: “The stakeholder network for district heat networks is very complex and requires targeted change in different sectors to overcome existing barriers.

“The sector needs to deliver schemes more rapidly, more cost effectively and to increase its focus on existing buildings. Our research shows that by increasing district heat networks, then the amount of expensive deep energy efficiency retrofit required in existing buildings decreases.

In the UK, just 2% of UK space and water heating is provided by heat networks.

In October, government launched a £320m Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) to accelerate the adoption of low-carbon heat technologies across the UK’s public, private and domestic sectors.

The EfW Conference returns to etc. venues at County Hall, London on 26-28 February, 2019.

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