UK geothermal project gets share of £91m low-carbon heating fund
A geothermal heating project is among the low-carbon schemes to have secured shares of a £91m funding pot to accelerate the uptake of clean heating options.
The projects have successfully gained grants from the Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF), which supports the development of new and existing low and zero carbon heat networks in England. The £91m will be split across the projects to further development and deployment.
Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management oversaw the funding allocation. The organisation’s programme director Ken Hunnisett claimed he was excited to work with the programmes in a bid to “transform the market”.
“Heat networks have long since been a vital part of the UK’s lowest cost pathway to net zero but it’s the step-change in scale and ambition of these projects, and those that are expected to follow them, that distinguish them from those that have gone before,” Hunnisett said.
“The received wisdom is that the sector will have fulfilled its potential when as many as 20% of us are receiving low carbon heating and cooling through heat networks. Announcements like this encourage me to think that it’s a target that is realisable within a generation.”
Projects to gain funding include technologies that use waste heat extraction from energy centres and biomass plants and ground and air source heat pumps.
A total of £20m has been provided for the construction and commercialisation of a heat network to deliver clean district heating across Bradford utilising a large Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP), the largest installation in the UK so far.
Additionally, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council has been awarded £12m for the construction of the Goole District Heat Network, which will recover waste heat from a local industrial source.
In a first for the UK, Cornwall Council has been awarded more than £22m to construct the Langarth District Heat Network, providing green heat from the UK’s first deep geothermal project.
The funding will enable Cornwall Council to develop detailed plans for the new district heating network, securing heat from the already completed 5km deep geothermal well.
Homes under the hammer
The Government’s Heat and Building Strategy aims for most of the UK’s 17 million inefficient homes to be upgraded with energy efficiency by 2035, two-thirds of which are in the owner-occupied sector.
A new report from the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) warns that this target will not be met unless the Government sets out clear regulatory standards. The association is calling for the implementation of minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) on homes that would reduce emissions and lower energy bills.
The trade association, which represents more than 160 organisations, has published a new report calling on the Government to ensure that by 2026, any property sold in the UK would need to meet MEES. The ADE believes a further round of more advanced measures should be introduced in 2029 if initial regulation is successful.
ADE’s energy efficiency policy manager Chris Friedler said:”Implementing minimum energy efficiency standards on households at the point of sale will have a transformative impact on gas usage in the UK, thereby tackling climate change, enhancing energy security, and reducing bills. Moreover, the inclusion of green finance measures will empower households, requiring no upfront payments and with cost caps removing risk.
“The ADE is deeply committed to trailblazing innovative ideas to take the essential energy efficiency measures we urgently need to the next level. Energy efficiency represents an affordable pathway to achieving net zero targets. It is crucial for the government to actively support an energy system that accelerates the rapid transition towards modern, energy efficient buildings – by doing so, it can ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for all.”