UK news update January 2022

Vattenfall launches high-temperature heat pump technology in the Netherlands, and states intention to bring the offering to the UK market as well • Ofgem is appointed as the heat networks regulator for Great Britain, as new funding is announced for five new heat networks across the UK • Sunderland could become home to the largest geothermal mine water source district heat network in the UK • New report from IRENA states hydrogen will play small role in decarbonising residential heating • Read more about the developments in sustainable heating and cooling in this month's news update from the UK


Vattenfall intends to offer high-temperature heat pumps to the UK market

The Swedish multinational energy company announced that it will launch an offering of all-electric, high-temperature heat pump technology in Netherlands during 2022, and expressed the intention to offer the same technology for the UK market in the future.

Most heat pumps heat water temperatures to between 45°C and 55°C, but the new technology from Vattenfall is able to heat water to a higher temperature – the same level reached with a gas boiler. This would remove the need for extensive retrofits of homes to ensure heating system and temperature compatibility.

The Dutch and British heating infrastructure share a similarity in the prevalence of gas central heating, meaning that the technology which will now be offered to customers in the Netherlands could benefit UK customers as well, especially those in more rural areas. For urban areas, Vattenfall urged policy-makers in both countries to consider the benefits of a mix of district heating networks and waste heat recovery centres.

Read more in article by Edie

Read more in press release by Vattenfall


New funding from HNIP announced for five heat networks, with Ofgem appointed as heat networks regulator for Great Britain

The government has announced a £19 million investment which will be used to set up five new heat networks in the UK – two in Bristol and the other three in London, Liverpool and Worthing respectively. The new networks will benefit both households, businesses, public sector buildings and universities.

To support this and the overall development of heat networks in the UK, Ofgem (The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) has been appointed as the sector’s regulator, signalling the importance of heat networks in the UK’s clean energy strategy. Ofgem will be responsible for ensuring that consumers receive a fair price and reliable supply of heat. The appointment of Ofgem as heat networks regulator is expected to increase both quality of service as well as install higher confidence in the heat networks sector among investors.

Read more in article by Business News Wales

Read more in article by The Energyst

Read more in article by Environment Journal


Green light for plans to develop the country’s largest mine water source heat network in Sunderland

Plans to develop a heat network in Sunderland using mine water as a source are moving forward, with viability studies greenlit by Sunderland City Council. The council is now seeking contractors to engage in drilling pilot boreholes roughly 600m below ground, to ascertain the possibility of using the former mine in this way.

As a next step, further studies would be carried out to find out whether heat extracted from the mine could supply heat for developments across the city. If these studies confirm viability, Sunderland could become home to the largest geothermal mine water source district heat network in the UK, which would support the council’s ambition of becoming net-zero by 2030 and the city’s net-zero target by 2040.

Read more in article by Insider Media

Read more in article by GeoDrilling International


A new forecast by IRENA predicts that hydrogen will only play a small part in decarbonisation of residential heating

While low-carbon hydrogen production is predicted to increase in the coming years, its role in decarbonising heat supply of residential buildings should remain small according to a new forecast by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Instead, the use of hydrogen should be prioritised in sectors which are hard to electrify, such as refineries, shipping and steelmaking, according to the recommendations. For residential heating, a combination of district heating networks and heat pump technology is advocated.

In the UK, the use of hydrogen for residential heating is still being explored, with a “Hydrogen Village” trial planned to be completed before 2025 which will further inform the decision regarding hydrogen’s viability as a residential heating source.

Read more in article by Edie

See the IRENA report here



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