UK news update November 2023

District Heating expansion in Edinburgh • data centres to heat homes in London • Geothermal Energy venture in Durham • Read more about the developments in sustainable heating and cooling in this month's news update from the UK

District Heating to supply regeneration project in Edinburgh 

Swedish Energy company Vattenfall Heat UK is set to collaborate with the City of Edinburgh Council to build a new ground-breaking heat network as part of the £1.3 billion regeneration project in Granton Waterfront. This initiative is a crucial step toward Edinburgh’s ambitious goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2030. The proposed 40-year agreement involves Vattenfall Heat UK overseeing the construction, operation, financing, management, and maintenance of the network, which will provide low-carbon heating to thousands of homes and businesses in the area.

Several local actors have expressed enthusiasm for the progress at Granton Waterfront. For instance, Council leader Cammy Day emphasized the project’s significance in combating fuel poverty and contributing to the city’s sustainability goals. Furthermore, Eoghan Maguire, Director of Heat Networks in Scotland at Vattenfall Heat UK, highlighted the district heating’s role in supporting the climate-conscious ambitions of the Granton Waterfront development.

The City of Edinburgh Council is expected to finalize the plans after approval from the finance and resources committee, marking a substantial milestone in the city’s journey towards a sustainable and carbon-neutral future.

Read more in article from Project Scotland

£36 Million investment for data center heat network in London

The Mayor of London’s development corporation, OPDC, has secured £36 million from the Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF) to pioneer a new sustainable heat network. The initiative is the first of its kind to receive GHNF support and will harness waste heat from data centers and channel it into a district heating network. The project is set to play a pivotal role in the Old Oak West development in London, one of the largest urban brownfield regeneration projects in the UK.

The £36 million investment will fund the commercialization and construction of a new district heating network, projected to deliver 95GWh of heat across five phases between 2026 and 2040. Once finished, it will span across three boroughs and supply 9,000 homes and 250,000m2 of commercial space. The Old Oak development will also create 22,000 new jobs.

The innovative approach involves capturing low-grade heat from data centers, typically wasted, and redistributing it through an ambient network. This network will supply heat pumps, elevating the temperature, and then distribute it to residential buildings via a low-temperature steel network.

The innovative approach makes the project qualify for “The Mayor of London’s Local Energy Accelerator (LEA)”, Which has provided almost £400,000 to fund technical expertise in the project.

Read more in article from Envirotec Magazine

Durham geothermal energy venture receives £140,000 

Durham County Council (DCC) has secured an additional £139,500 for its ongoing initiative to repurpose mine water deposits in Horden – a significant step toward harnessing geothermal energy for sustainable heating. The funding will support studies to assess the feasibility and operational aspects of the geothermal energy scheme. This initiative aligns with Durham County Council’s commitment to becoming carbon-neutral by 2045, contributing to a greener and more sustainable future.

Last year, the project received a £110,000 grant for a feasibility study. The recently secured funding will build upon the initial study and evaluate the practicality of the geothermal energy scheme and explore various operational strategies.

Mine water, naturally heated by geothermal energy, holds the potential to provide low-cost and low-carbon heat to homes. The process involves storing mine water in ponds, cleansing it of iron deposits, recover its heat, and subsequently pumping it out to sea.

Collaboratively developed by Durham County Council, Horden Together, East Durham Trust, and Horden Parish Council, the scheme has sparked excitement for its potential benefits, particularly for high-volume users of heating such as schools and care homes. The project also aligns with the council’s broader efforts to reduce carbon emissions, foster sustainable practices, and create a resilient and environmentally conscious community.

Read more in article from BBC News

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