Tim Rotheray, the ADE : The UK government has identified heat networks as a key technology to decarbonise heat and has allocated £320m of funding out to 2021 to grow the heat networks market. This funding is expected to draw in significant amounts of additional capital investment and support the construction of many more heat networks across England and Wales. Scotland is seeking to connect 40,000 homes to heat networks by 2020, representing 1.5TWh of Scotland’s heat demand. The Scottish government’s District Heating Loan Fund, established in 2011, and Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme have supported significant heat network investment in Scotland. The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) Market Report: heat networks in the UK today reveals there are already around 17,000 heat networks in the UK supplying c. 12,000 GWh to about half a million customers every year. The energy savings from these schemes are significant: the ADE estimates heat networks cut UK gas imports by the equivalent gas use of 216,000 homes (over 3,000 GWh per year). Heat networks present real opportunities to use energy that would otherwise be wasted, and deliver it to homes and businesses. They allow waste heat, solar heat, and power station heat to be connected to the end customers. This means the best heat sources in any given location can be used. Further, heat networks can enable a truly smart energy system. If they were to meet 17 per cent of heat demand, as modelled in the government’s 2017 Clean Growth Strategy, we could store enough to keep a million homes in heating and hot water for four hours. This ability to store energy is key to enabling more renewable power generation and a cost effective decarbonised energy system. So, why are heat networks not attracting the investment they need to grow into a subsidy-free market? Uncertainty over how heat networks, as very long-term investments, will develop has meant that investors have seen them as more risky. To understand this risk, industry and stakeholders have collaborated to consider what the future of heat networks in the UK should look like, to attract investment and ensure customer protection. The work revealed a clear overarching need for a regulatory framework to de-risk investment and to create binding customer protection.
Business Green 31st January 2018 read more »
The UK heat network industry is today urging the government to draw up new regulations for the sector to help drive down costs and protect consumers. In a new report from an industry task force led by the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE), heat network developers call for a regulatory framework for the sector that would see heat network developers subject to binding minimum standards for pricing and customer services.
Business Green 31st Jan 2018 read more »