Funding worth up to £39 million is being offered to local authorities and public sector bodies to develop ‘heat networks’ to capture excess heat from industrial facilities – which could include Energy from Waste (EfW) plants.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) yesterday announced the funding as the first stage of the £320 million Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) to establish low carbon heating networks, which it has dubbed ‘central heating for cities’.
The process sees heat from a central source – such as an EfW plant or biomass facility – piped to buildings to provide heating or hot water. Such schemes are more common in continental Europe – but have not been as prevalent in the UK, although some are in operation.
Finance is being offered for projects in England and Wales, and could include construction, expansion, refurbishment or connection of a district heating system – with initial payments to be made by April 2017.
Minister of State for Energy, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, said: “Heat networks can significantly improve the efficiency with which heat is provided to our towns and cities, as well as helping to develop local infrastructure and reduce carbon.
“The new scheme will help us to develop viable reforms to make the most of the heat we produce and use it effectively to bring bills down for people across the country.”
Among the district heating schemes already in operation in England is that run by Veolia from the South East London Combined Heat and Power Plant (SELCHP), which was switched on in late 2013.
A project to source heat from the Edmonton incinerator in north London is also underway, which Enfield council hopes will roll out to housing estates in the borough later this year. The project, which was originally started under the ‘Lee Valley Heat Network’ title is now operating as energetik Ltd.
Meanwhile, around 130 buildings in Sheffield take heat from the city’s EfW plant, also run by Veolia, while schemes including Coventry’s Heatline and Nottingham’s EnviroEnergy are also in operation. A district heating network in Leeds – using heat from Veolia’s 214,000 tonnes per annum energy from waste plant is also planned.