Cheltenham retirement complex to slash emissions with ground source heat pumps

A retirement development in the heart of Cheltenham looks set to reduce the carbon emissions from heating by up to 75% following the installation of ground source renewable heat pump technology.

RDC's Tom LLoyd (left) with MP Alex Chalk (right)

RDC's Tom LLoyd (left) with MP Alex Chalk (right)

The Lewis Carrol Lodge has been developed by Churchill Retirement Living and will officially open in Cheltenham in March. It is a collection of 65 new retirement apartments that will have the carbon intensity of its heating reduced by ground source heat pump technology.

The Renewable Design Company (RDC) has installed that pump system at the development to extract heat from the earth to provide heating and hot water. According to the company, the heat pumps will produce 33 tonnes of CO2 annually, which is almost 100 tonnes less than that what would be generated by an electric heating system, equating to a 75% reduction in emissions.

Local Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk, who campaigned heavily for the UK’s net-zero target, said: said: “I’m proud to be supporting local renewable initiatives, such as the heating system at Lewis Carroll Lodge for a greener environment and better future. The ground source heat pump they have installed is a great example of sustainable, low carbon, development. The Government will continue to support the renewables sector, to help us hit our Net Zero emissions targets.”

Heating has been a notoriously difficult sector to decarbonise in the UK, and many are pointing the finger at a lack of political incentives.

Bean Beanland, president of the recently rebranded Ground Source Heat Pump Association, told Utility Week that the association will be pressing the government to provide capital grants for the installation of heat pumps as part of a new post -2021 support framework for low-carbon heating.

The replacement for the Renewable Heat Incentive, the existing framework that runs out next year, should set a target of one million heat pump installations a year by 2035, according to the association.

Last year, the Science and Technology Committee called for the urgent development a clearer strategy for decarbonising heat that includes large-scale trials of different heating technologies, such as heat pumps and hydrogen gas heating, operating in homes and cities to build the evidence base required for long-term decisions.

Research suggests that the installation of district heat networks could reduce the capital cost of the UK's heat networks by up to 40%. Research from the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) found that it is possible to reduce the cost of the nation’s low-carbon transition by as much as £3bn by using “innovative” solutions, including water source heat pumps.

On the latter, Scotland’s first large-scale water source heat pump scheme takes heat from the river Clyde to provide heat and hot water for a nearby district heating network. Delivered by Vital Energi, two 2.5MW water source heat pumps will be used to provide heat for the up to 1,200 houses and businesses and public buildings as part of the £250m Queen’s Quay Development project in Clydebank.

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Matt Mace


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