UK news update May 2021

The government has pledged £44m in funding to boost the development of low-carbon heating, of which two thirds will be used to fund three district heating projects in London, Manchester and Cambridgeshire, respectively • New research published by Greenpeace Scotland highlights the opportunity for urban rivers to provide a substantial share of low-carbon heating demand in cities • The UK electricity infrastructure is due for an upgrade to accommodate the increasing demand from electric heating and transport • Read below about sustainable heating and cooling developments in the UK in the May news update


The government pledges £44m in funding to boost the development of low-carbon heating

Of the announced funds, £30m will be used to fund three projects in London, Manchester and Cambridgeshire which are described below. The remaining £14m will fund 11 additional projects in England, Scotland and Wales. The announcement can be read on the government’s website here.


The waste management, recycling and energy recovery company Cory has been awarded a total of £12.1 million in funding through the Heat Networks Investment Portfolio (HNIP) to support the development of a new district heating network in Bexley, London. Vattenfall has secured the contract to deliver the project, capturing heat from Cory Riverside Energy’s EfW facility on the River Thames banks.

The funding consists of a £1.6m grant for commercialisation of the network and a £10.5m loan to be used for construction. The new network will supply low-carbon heat to 21,000 homes when finished, making it one of the largest district heating networks in the UK.

Read more in articles by Bioenergy Insight here and here

Read more in article by Let’s Recycle here

Read the press release from Vattenfall here


The Octagon Project Energy Network (OPEN) has been awarded £14.7m in grant and loan funding to deliver low-carbon electricity, heating and cooling through its heat network in Manchester City Centre. The OPEN is driven by a joint venture called Manchester Energy Partnership, comprised of Electricity North West Construction and Maintenance Ltd and Sustainable Energy Supplies Ltd.

Heating will be provided through Combined Heat and Power generation, along with solar panels and air source heat pumps. A mix of properties stand to benefit over a 5 sq. km area, including private and social housing, student accommodation and public buildings. The properties will see up to 15% reduction of energy costs, reduced energy consumption, and a reduced carbon footprint.

Read more in press release by Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management here


The village of Swaffham Prior in Cambridgeshire has been awarded £3.2m of HNIP funding to develop a community heat network. The project is led by the community through the Swaffham Prior Community Land Trust, comprised of residents, and the Cambridgeshire County Council.

The heat network will combine a ground source heat pump and an air source heat pump powered by solar panels to heat 300 properties in the village. Beside the environmental benefits, the project could serve as a roadmap for other communities in the UK who aim to transform their heating.

Read more in article by Cambridge Network here

Read more in article by Ely Standard here


New research shows Scotland’s rivers could provide substantial share of Scottish low-carbon heating demand

Greenpeace Scotland recently published the Green Heat in Greenspaces report, which concludes that urban rivers and greenspaces hold the potential to supply almost 80% of the heat demand from Scotland’s towns and cities through the use of heat pump technologies. Solar heat stored in the rivers can be extracted using water source heat pumps, which can then be distributed to nearby properties through district heating networks.

Today, approximately a fifth of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions come from heating buildings. A fifth of the total heat demand from all of Scotland’s settlements can be attributable to Greater Glasgow, which will be the host city of the UN Climate Conference, COP26, later this year.

Read more in press release by Greenpeace Scotland here

Read more in article by Scottish Housing News here


UK’s electricity infrastructure is set to be upgraded with £300m investment

The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) has announced a £300 million investment to upgrade Britain’s cables, substations and other infrastructure to support the new demand for electricity. Spurred largely by the need for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the investment aims to prepare the UK for more electric transport and heat.

Works are intended to start this year with 204 projects across England, Scotland and Wales. The investment is part of a wider initiative to secure the energy infrastructure needed for low carbon heating and transport, with a total investment of £40 billion over the next seven years.

Read more in the press release by Ofgem here



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