The UK government will create a central authority responsible for heat networks development in the UK • Leeds City Council wins award for their Leeds PIPES network at ADE’s Decentralised Energy Awards • A new green hydrogen partnership announced in Scotland • Read more about the developments in sustainable heating and cooling in this month's news update from the UK
The government has confirmed it will create a central body to oversee the development of heat networks in the UK. The UK government has previously stated the goal of heat networks to serve 20% of homes by 2050, up from 2% in 2020, as part of its overall ambition to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. With many stakeholders warning that heat network development is off track to reach the stated targets, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has conducted a consultation on the ways in which heat networks should be planned, delivered and operated in the future. A national heat network authority could be launched in the second half of next year at the earliest.
Furthermore, the heat networks price cap determined by Ofgem, who was appointed by BEIS as the heat network market regulator for England late last year, is to be extended to include more residents currently on heat networks. At present, many residents who are served by a heat network are not included in the price cap due to the heat networks being regarded as commercial arrangements rather than domestic, which is set to change.
The council and its heat network partners Vital Energi and Enervate were revealed as the winners of the ‘Heat and Efficiency: Operational’ trophy at the ADE’s Decentralised Energy Awards, run by the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE).
The Leeds PIPES district heating network uses heat and energy recovered from non-recyclable waste at the Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF) to provide heat and hot water to buildings in the city. In 2021, the £47 million network helped reduce the city’s carbon footprint by more than 2,000 tonnes while simultaneously offering residents a reliable and affordable alternative to traditional fossil fuel powered heating systems. Nearly 2000 homes, commercial and public buildings are already connected to the network, which is set to expand to become the largest heat network in the UK.
A new partnership between renewables generator RWN and gas distribution company SGN will focus on supplying Scottish towns and rural communities with sustainable hydrogen gas. The two companies have signed an agreement to investigate the development of electrolysers powered by RWE’s 10 onshore wind farms in Scotland, to supply homes and businesses with hydrogen gas via Scotland’s gas network.
The UK government’s Energy Security Strategy, published in April this year, saw the ambition for low carbon hydrogen production double to 10GW by 2030. Similarly, the Scottish government’s Hydrogen Action Plan states a commitment of hydrogen production capacity of 5GW by 2030 and 25GW by 2045.
Initially, the partnership will investigate the decarbonisation of homes and businesses connected to the networks of Campbeltown, Stornoway, Oban, Thurso and Wick.
Sweden is at the forefront of decentralised heat networks technology. Our aim for “Sustainable Heating & Cooling by Sweden” is to facilitate knowledge sharing between British, French and Swedish stakeholders and develop and encourage environmental and economic best practice.
To find out how we can help you and your organisation, please contact our London or Paris-based “SHC” teams. We can introduce you to leading consultants, suppliers of technology and services who will be pleased to share know-how of the development of sustainable heating & cooling solutions.