DECC publishes new water source heat map

The Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has published a national water source heat map which highlights the significant opportunities that exist for more open water heat pump installations across the country.

The new map, unveiled earlier this month, has been developed for local authorities, community groups and private developers in order to highlight potential uses of the innovative energy generation systems at larger scales. (Scroll down to view map).

It identifies the areas of high heat demand, adjacent to rivers, with sufficiently high flow rates, also highlighting particular locations that are sensitive to environmental factors.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “It sounds like magic but using proven technology we can now extract some of the heat in our rivers and estuaries and use that energy to heat our homes and offices.

“I want to help communities across England use our waterways for this renewable heat and this new map is designed to help communities, councils and developers identify the most promising opportunities. If we can succeed on the large scale, it would cut Britain’s import bill and boost our home-grown supplies of clean, secure energy.”

Kingston Heights

The Department was tasked with the preparation of the map by Davey when he formally switched on the award-winning Kingston Heights Open Water Heat Pump community heating system in October last year.

The pioneering £70 million, mixed-use development in the heart of Kingston-upon-Thames harvests renewable, low-grade heat from the Thames and transfers it 200m from the river to the development’s 137 apartments and 142-bed hotel and conference centre where it is utilised to provide all the development’s heating, hot water and cooling requirements.

Mike Spenser-Morris, managing director of NHP Leisure Developments and the visionary behind the scheme, said: “I always knew that what we were doing in Kingston could be easily replicated and I was delighted when the Secretary of State and his officers at DECC decided to map out the potential for the country.

“Kingston Heights points the way to the use of the virtually unlimited store of solar energy which is lying dormant in the heart of our towns and cities.”

Prime examples

Spenser-Morris has since set up The Zero Carbon Partnership to assist other potential adopters of the technology by sharing the extensive experience gained from the Kingston Heights project.

Earlier this year, edie reported that the National Trust had slashed its environmental footprint by switching on the UK’s largest marine-source heat pump at a country house in North Wales.

And earlier this week, leading academic Professor Paul Younger called for Scotland to follow Norway’s lead and use heat pump technology to provide large-scale, low-carbon heat.

“It’s now time for Scotland to focus its attention on the potential for heat pump technology to deliver low-carbon heat at reasonable cost,” said Younger. “After all, we should be making the most of one thing Scotland will always have in super-abundance: water.”

UK Water Source Heat Map

Luke Nicholls

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