COP25 – Heat Networks

Day Three of the COP25 Summit! 25,000 delegates and roughly 200 heads of government or state unite in Madrid to fight the climate crisis.

Most of the parties Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – aforementioned in part one of this Gemserv article series – include discussion of carbon markets that enable government and private sectors to trade carbon permits, to meet national target emissions. International cooperation in the regulation of carbon markets is top of the agenda for COP25 this week. The UK is utilising heat networks, intending to reduce reliance on carbon permit trading to meet their NDCs including national target emissions.

The UK government’s ‘Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth Grand Challenge’ is to maximise economic opportunity whilst shifting towards clean growth. 37% of UK emissions come from heat, so the need to invest in efficient heat distribution systems which minimise waste heat and use low carbon sources as an alternative to fossil fuels, is key if we are to meet UK net zero emissions by 2050.

Heat networks, otherwise known as district heating schemes, heat two or more buildings from a central source. delivering heat to different customers in public sector buildings, shops and offices, sport facilities, universities and domestic flats. By supplying multiple buildings with heat from the same centralised source, heat networks avoid the need for individual boilers or electric heaters in every building. Heat network pipe infrastructure is heat source and fuel agnostic. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park site in Stratford is a good example of a successful heat network.

Gemserv forms part of a consortium, working together to deliver the Heat Network Investment Project (HNIP) on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Through HNIP, BEIS has made £320M of funding available to support the development of heat networks across England and Wales, laying the foundations for a self-sustaining heat network market. HNIP aims to decarbonise the UK energy system at the lowest cost to the economy, by increasing the volume of heat networks, improving supply chain capability, and reducing product costs.  

For more information on the HNIP scheme, please visit https://tp-heatnetworks.org/.  

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