UK news update December 2023

New EfW-plant in Aberdeen • Heat network expansion in Leeds • The Boiler Upgrade Scheme Gets £1.5 Billion • Read more about the developments in sustainable heating and cooling in this month's news update from the UK

Aberdeen’s energy from waste facility commences full operations

The NESS Energy from Waste (EfW) plant in East Tullos, Aberdeen, has officially commenced full-scale operations after its successful completion. Designed to process non-recyclable waste from Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, and Moray Councils, this facility is a crucial step toward sustainable waste management and energy production in the area.

The testing phase, initiated in February 2023, has been completed successfully, allowing the plant to now process its full capacity of waste at around 150,000 tonnes per year. The plat is connected to Torry Heat Network, providing cost-effective heating to nearby schools, care facilities, and social housing.

The NESS Energy from Waste facility stands as a testament to collaborative efforts to meet environmental goals and reduce carbon emissions. EFW Ness Ltd, a subsidiary of Acciona Industrial UK Ltd, is responsible for the construction and management of the facility, while day-to-day operations are overseen by the operator, Indaver UK.

Read more in article from Scottish Construction

Expansion of Leeds (PIPES) Heat Network brings affordable low-carbon heating into more homes 

Leeds City Council’s district heating project, Leeds PIPES, is expanding its reach, aiming to provide affordable, low-carbon heating to more residents and businesses. The latest phase of expansion will connect 259 council properties in Lovell Park Heights, Lovell Park Grange, and Lovell Park Towers within the next six months. Additionally, private leaseholders in the Little London tower blocks can opt to connect their homes to this sustainable heating system.

The Leeds PIPES district heating project utilizes heat and energy recovered from non-recyclable waste at the Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF) to supply warmth and hot water to buildings in the city. By doing so, the initiative supports the city’s commitment to transitioning to ‘net zero’ emissions and contributes to a reduction in the city’s annual carbon footprint.

Leeds City Council estimates that the new connections will collectively reduce the city’s carbon footprint by 279 tonnes annually, aligning with efforts to combat climate change. The network further benefits households by reducing heating costs compared to traditional heating systems.

A key aspect of the network expansion is the inclusion of Leeds Conservatoire (formerly Leeds College of Music) as the thirteenth non-residential customer to connect. Non-residential customers contribute to the diversification of the project’s impact, extending the benefits of low-carbon heating beyond solely residential areas.

The Leeds PIPES network, delivered in collaboration with Vital Energi, is a critical component of Leeds City Council’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions and make energy consumption more sustainable. The network is designed to facilitate savings for customers, with existing users collectively estimated to save nearly £490,000 in reduced energy costs this year alone.

Read more in article from Building, Design & Construction Magazine

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme gets £1.5 billion to boost sustainable heating solutions

In an effort to support the transition to low-carbon heating and enhance energy efficiency, the UK government has injected an additional £1.5 billion into the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. The scheme, initially launched in late 2021 with a budget of £450 million, encourages the adoption of sustainable heating solutions, a crucial element in the UK’s strategy to achieve its net-zero targets.

The significant boost in funding follows Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to increase the maximum grant funding for new heat pumps from £5,000 to £7,500 per household earlier this year. Sunak emphasized that the upfront cost of heat pumps remains a deterrent for many households, and the government aims to alleviate this financial burden.

The UK government has set a target of installing 600,000 heat pumps in homes and businesses annually by 2028, a substantial increase from the 55,000 installations in 2021. The extension of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is part of a broader £6 billion package designed to accelerate energy efficiency improvements and promote the uptake of electric heating.

The scheme offers various incentives and funding opportunities for different sectors:

  1. Energy Efficiency Grant Scheme for Homes in England (£400 million): A new grant scheme, set to launch in 2025, aims to support households in England with energy efficiency improvements. Specific details about the scheme are yet to be unveiled.
  2. Local Authority Retrofit Scheme (£500 million): A dedicated fund for local authorities to assist 60,000 low-income households with insulation and other energy efficiency measures.
  3. Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (£1.25 billion): Social housing providers can access this funding to support the decarbonization of their housing stock post-2025.
  4. Heat Networks (£500 million): Over £500 million has been allocated for heat networks. The Heat Network Efficiency Scheme and the Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF) will benefit from this funding, facilitating improvements to existing heat networks and accelerating the adoption of low-carbon heat sources.
  5. Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (£225 million): This fund supports manufacturers and heavy industry with onsite solutions like electric heating, waste heat capture, and energy storage.

Through these schemes and their associated financial incentives and support, the UK Government, aims to make low-carbon technologies more accessible and affordable for households and businesses across the UK.

Read more in article from EDIE

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