1. Editorial – New regulatory models for new markets
  2. Guest editorial – District heating and why customer engagement is the key to success
  3. Spotlight on: "Shared Warmth: A heat network market that benefits customers, investors, and the environment" (January 2018) Association of Decentralised Energy (ADE) Industry Heat Network Task Force Report
  4. UK News
  5. International news
  6. Events
  7. Past Issues

Editorial – New regulatory models for new markets

Much has happened over the last three months concerning the treatment of heat network customers. The debate was initiated in March 2015 with a report from Which? magazine followed up by a study from Citizens Advice in January 2016. Both reports commence by highlighting the absence of retail competition (the ability to switch suppliers) and posits the need for regulation to protect customers from monopoly abuse.  Few, if any, would disagree with the need for regulation (see below). But their approach implies a faith in the incumbent free market approach to delivering what is an essential service and holds retail competition as the ultimate guarantor of consumer benefit. Secretary of State Greg Clark, amongst many others, has acknowledged that we have “a broken energy market” – so why seek to replicate it?

The difference between the energy industry and others providing essential services, such as food, is that the infrastructure necessary to distribute the energy supplied to customers is fixed – there is no competition between gas and power networks. They are natural monopolies. Historically they were mainly developed by municipalities to provide a service to a local community and financed using capital with public sector rates of return. Those that were developed as private enterprises were nationalized after WWII and incorporated into an evolving nationwide infrastructure. The key point is that at local level customers did not have a choice between providers – but were keen to connect because of the benefits that energy provides. Consequently, network developers had confidence that customers would connect. When the energy industry was privatized in the late 1980’s companies were initially vertically integrated but regulators forced the separation between generation, distribution and supply – with competition introduced for generation and supply whilst distribution remained a monopoly.

At their present stage of development within the UK heat networks are typically vertically integrated. They may evolve along a similar trajectory as for gas and power networks. But at the moment a switch in provider implies a move away from the infrastructure. This could undermine the Government’s ambitions for heat networks as a key element in their strategy to decarbonise heat. Consequently, these issues will need to be addressed. The challenge is therefore whether heat networks can be accommodated into the current regulatory structure or should a new model of regulation evolve that finds another means of ensuring customer benefit that does not place such a strong emphasis on retail competition.

The reports mentioned above, particularly from Citizens Advice, arose from concerns raised by heat network users which, perhaps inevitably, will be negative as contented customers have little motivation to get in touch with such agencies. But it can potentially give a one-sided view of what is happening. Consequently, a major independent heat network consumers survey commissioned by BEIS in December 2017, that is broad based, quantitative and statistically balanced is most welcome.

This study provides a more balanced view of customer experience of heat networks that is worth reading. It finds that there is a wide range in pricing with a small minority paying eye-watering amounts – but on average customers pay less (approximately £100 per annum) than with non-heat network customers. Whilst customer information (bills, account summaries and statements) was found to be somewhat lacking, customers were generally no less satisfied with it than non-heat network customers and broadly happy with the service that they received. Overall:

“Satisfaction among heat network consumers is generally on par with that of consumers in non-heat networks. On various measures, consumer perceptions were not substantially different: overall satisfaction, reported reliability, satisfaction with the level of control over heating, perception of fair pricing and the level of information received about the system were all rated similarly by both groups.”

More work is clearly needed in improving the technical performance of heat networks, particularly in providing customer controls, and in the provision of information – where it is noted that the Heat Trust is having an impact. But what about those customers who are trapped on an underperforming network and are not getting satisfaction from the operator? Intriguingly, given the emphasis given to retail competition by Which? and Citizens Advice, only 5% of the sub-set of customers unhappy about pricing identified ability to switch supplier as a concern (P57 Table 10). Is retail competition the answer to their problems or is there another way to fix them?

In January, the Association of Decentralised Energy (ADE) reported on the work of their Industry Heat Network Taskforce. Overall the Taskforce recognises the need for regulation. This split into two interacting sections of providing for investor confidence and customer protection. The largest element of customer bills is the cost of capital, as identified in this column (Issue 42). Capital investment is priced according to risk, the main one being ‘demand risk’. Namely when investing to build a new network – what certainty is that buildings will connect to it and consume heat in the volumes predicted in the financial plan? To reduce this risk, which will potentially provide a consequent reduction in the cost of capital and help reduce customers’ bills, the Taskforce suggests a ‘demand assurance’ mechanism. To access this guarantee a network developer will have to provide a sufficient standard of customer protection. The report describes these aspects as “two sides of the same coin” which implies that one follows the other. Indeed it would incentivise operators to achieve customer protection standards. But shouldn’t they should be doing so anyway?! Not only is it good practice, but it can avoid tying up management with the hassle associated with unhappy customers.

In support of such demand assurance the Taskforce suggests compulsory connection of new developments and public buildings to heat networks where it can be demonstrated to provide a positive cost benefit. The Scottish Government’s initial proposals for Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies leading to the defining of district heating zones provided a long stop power to oblige all buildings within such zones to connect. But it was removed from the recent second iteration of the consultation. One wonders if this just too difficult to deliver within the current framework of property law. However, the GLA’s London Plan effectively requires new buildings to connect. Extending that obligation to public buildings would provide the load balance between different customer demand profiles as well as age of buildings that could allow the heat networks to germinate in high density areas. They would then organically grow as the initial development and set up costs are spread across a broader base of customers.

This spreading of such costs is implicitly touched on by the Taskforce by asking who exactly should be providing the Demand Assurance Guarantee? But it then ducks the question by calling for further work. Ofgem’s recent Future Insights paper posits a shift from to current micro-managed form of regulation to one based on general principles. If it were to move from regulation based on an energy vector (gas and electricity) to a regulatory form based on outcomes, such as heat, then the demand guarantee can be ‘socialised’ across a much broader asset and consumer base. This would reduce demand risk and provide investors with the comfort they require and consequently bring down the cost to customers.

The Taskforce also comes out against the right to disconnect which would be necessary for retail competition. Such a move would force fixed common network charges onto a smaller pool of customers, increasing their burden. The Ofgem paper voiced similar concerns over small decentralised energy projects disconnecting from the power grid. Instead the Taskforce argues for a cascading series of actions leading to the network owner being declared ‘unfit’ by the regulator and forced to exit the market. Could such a cascade of actions leading to exclusion replace retail competition as the guarantor of customer benefit?

Lastly, on the same day as the BEIS Customer Satisfaction Survey the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced it was launching a study into the domestic heat network market that could potentially lead to a full market investigation if customer detriment is found. Its leading concern once again is that customers are: “unable to easily switch suppliers”. It is troubling that those working in the regulatory field see their duty is to perfect the competitive market defining it mainly in terms of retail competition rather than taking a more holistic view of consumer benefit, both present and future.

The CMA should see their study as an opportunity to re-consider the purpose and shape of competition and begin to build a different model of regulation, taking a lead from Ofgem’s Future Insights series. For example, the ADE Taskforce foresees an evolution to a more competitive market of contractors bidding to provide core and supplementary services to network owners. Underperforming the contractors could be removed. Why not take this one step further and provide customers with the ability to collectively sack their network operator and tender for a new one? This would make network operators truly accountable to their customers.

Michael King

Editor

Guest editorial – District heating and why customer engagement is the key to success

Jayne Clare, Managing director, energetik

Enfield Council’s energy company, energetik, recently welcomed its first customers. The company’s first heat network is now supplying new homes at Arnos Grove. Three other heat networks are being developed in Enfield linked to large-scale regeneration, including estate redevelopments at Ponders End and Oakwood; and at the 10,000 home Meridian Water development. All these new homes will be supplied by energetik.

For those who don’t know about energetik, it’s one of the first London boroughs to establish a municipal energy company, to supply low-carbon heat and hot water through community heat networks, also known as district heating.

The company will supply over 15,000 homes and businesses in Enfield through a series of heat networks. Each network is designed to expand so more customers can connect over time and help energetik realise its vision to transform the local energy market and be the supplier to trust.

The first customers are social tenants who have moved from homes that were inefficient to heat and had poor controls. The new homes are very energy efficient, and the added level of control that customers will have through their smart meters should help with budgeting and understanding energy use.

Resident involvement

It’s an interesting time for the heat network industry, as it remains unregulated but is set to expand rapidly over the coming years. energetik has set itself apart from other energy companies and is focused on putting customers first and delivering excellent quality.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of examples out there of schemes that don’t live up to expectations. But the energetik heat networks are designed to a far higher standard than what’s usual in the UK market.

And the company hasn’t just concentrated on the technical design. At every stage, customers have been our its consideration to make sure their service is reliable: from installing multiple back-up systems in our energy centres; to increasing insulation on above-ground pipework to reduce heat losses; to extended testing and commissioning to make sure everything works as it should before residents move in.

It’s about taking the time to meet with customers face-to-face to help them understand the system, as community energy is new for most of them. None of this is rocket science but many of these aspects are often overlooked or rushed in private-sector schemes, and their customers end up suffering as a result.

To support customer engagement, energetik offers training to sales team and housing officers. It works closely with all parties from the development stage to make sure the design, build and installation will deliver a reliable service. This collaborative process not only simplifies the complexity of providing low cost, low carbon heat for the development partners; it also presents a significant learning opportunity for them in an evolving market.

Getting it right first time

The community heating industry needs to improve its reputation to ensure it can realise its potential to deliver a far larger proportion of the UK’s heat demand. The aim is to facilitate this at a local level, leading by example to demonstrate the benefits of community heat networks done the right way, first time.

The energetik team is also able to help UK local authorities and housing associations benefit from its efforts to set up a publicly owned local energy company and to make its heat networks a success operationally, commercially and for customers.

That includes providing a suite of commercially robust strategic documents and legal agreements for purchase, to help significantly reduce development costs and the time needed to enter the heat supply market.

With Enfield Council behind it, energetik is providing a flexible and low carbon energy infrastructure that can continue to grow over decades. We want to protect our customers in a market that’s still unregulated, focusing on giving them great service that’s reliable and better value. The fact that we can do this whilst improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions is a win-win.

Jayne Clare,

Managing director, energetik

Spotlight on: "Shared Warmth: A heat network market that benefits customers, investors, and the environment" (January 2018) Association of Decentralised Energy (ADE) Industry Heat Network Task Force Report

The recommended principles set out in this report, represent the first stage of industry-led work to create a heat network market which protects customers, drives down costs, and helps to meet decarbonisation targets.

Many of the recommended principles identified by the Task Force group require further work and detailed design. The ADE is keen to hear responses from stakeholders as it works with wider industry to develop the proposals contained in this document. The role of regulation is a complex one risking unintended consequences and requires careful consideration and implementation. This initial work seeks to inform the wider debate on the decarbonisation of heat.

The ADE will welcome responses from UK and devolved Administrations, as well as wider stakeholder responses to determine appropriate next steps. To comment on this report please submit your views to heat.networks@theade.co.uk

Recommended principles:

Recommended principles:

Recommended principles:

UK News

Heat Trust Amendment to Scheme Rules (Heat Trust) Consultation open to 27 April 2018

Heat Trust has opened a consultation seeking views on amending the Scheme Rules to allow existing heat networks, that do not use individual heat supply agreements, to register with Heat Trust providing that clear terms of service are set out in a separate document.

This consultation opened on Friday 2 February 2018 and will close at 17.00hrs on Friday 27th April 2018. We welcome responses to the consultation from all interested parties.  Links to the consultation document, consultation response form and proposed changes to the Scheme Rules are provided below.

Consultation document

Consultation response form

Changes to the Scheme Rules

Abandoned collieries could hold key to heating UK homes (The Observer) 8 April 2018

Scientists are finalising plans to exploit the vast reservoir of warm water that fills a labyrinth of disused mines and porous rock layers underneath Glasgow. They believe this subterranean store of naturally heated water could be used to warm homes in the city. If the system proves successful, such water could then be exploited in other cities and towns across Britain, they say.

The £9m project will initially involve drilling narrow boreholes filled with instruments to survey temperature, seismic activity, water flow, acidity and other variables to establish the state of the water in the rocks below the city. The aim will be to establish whether this warm water can be extracted for long periods to heat Glaswegian homes.

Energy Trends special feature article – Experimental statistics on heat networks (BEIS) March 2018

The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 20141 came into force on 18th December 2014. The legislation implements the requirements set out in the 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive Article 9 (1)2. The regulations require heat network suppliers to submit a notification once operational and at four yearly intervals to provide information on the status and performance of network(s) managed.

The key points are;

Green light given to Glenrothes green energy scheme (The Courier) March 28 2018

There were fears the ambitious project could falter when the Scottish Government rejected a local authority bid for between £5.9 million and £7.2m of extra funding.

However, Fife Council’s policy and co-ordination committee has given the green light to a reduced scheme which will use heat from RWE’s Markinch biomass plant to provide low carbon heating to local buildings. The new scaled down proposal will see 45 homes in a sheltered housing complex as part of the scheme instead of the original 290. There will now only be 6.8km of pipeline, instead of the initial 16.8km.

Water from River Clyde to be used to heat Glasgow homes (Glasgow Evening Times) 26 March 2018

Glasgow City Council’s Contracts and Property Committee agreed to lease land by the river for an energy centre yesterday.

Star Renewable Energy is planning to construct, operate and maintain a facility that will extract water from the Clyde and turn it into heat for nearby council buildings.

Councillors said the move will save £400,000 over 20 years and help towards moving away from gas powered heating.

Inside the £26m bunker powering the City from down below (London Evening Standard)

Deep beneath central London, a hi-tech power plant in a former meat warehouse is helping drive down the environmental impact of London’s growing energy addiction.

The Standard toured the Citigen generator as nearly 150 landmarks and famous buildings in the capital prepare to go dark tomorrow night to mark Earth Hour.

Leeds ‘recycled heat’ project could spark a revolution in cheap and efficient energy (Yorkshire Evening Post) 22 March 2018

Leeds can spark an energy revolution, leading the drive for cities to “decarbonize” and becoming a champion for cheap and efficient home heating. That was the view in Burmantofts earlier today (Thursday), where a £35m District Heating Network (DHN) – which will power almost 2,000 council homes with hot water produced at the Cross Green incinerator (known as the RERF) – was officially launched.

E.ON UK chief says heat now the priority over renewables (decentralized-energy.com) 21/03/2018

The new boss of E.ON UK has told a prestigious gathering at Oxford University that the decarbonization of heat and transport now supersedes the drive towards renewable energy. E.ON CEO Michael Lewis told Aurora’s Spring Forum that the UK had brought about success in developing its renewable energy industry, but now the focus must shift to other areas. “[Renewable generation] has been a huge success, but in many ways, that is already done,” said Lewis. While there are “some issues around intermittency” to solve, “we have [achieved] renewable, low and zero carbon generation at a lower price than conventional generation. Now we need to turn to transport and heating – and that is where E.ON wants to play a key role.”

District heating network to be installed at Edinburgh housing development (Scottish Construction) March 19 2018

Greendykes, located just south of Niddrie Mains Road, is being delivered on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council and will consist of 75 mixed-tenure homes upon its completion in early-2019. The project is an important part of the ongoing regeneration of the wider Craigmillar area and represents over £9 million of investment by the council, with support from the Scottish Government. The new district heating network will serve the development from its very own local Energy Centre which will house a gas-fired CHP unit and energy efficiency gas-fired boilers.

Underground network of pipes to be installed this year  (Sutton Guardian) 7 March 2018

More than 700 homes in Sutton will soon have low-carbon heat and hot water pumped in via a network of underground pipes. The Sutton Decentralised Energy Network (SDEN) will capture heat from the newly built Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) and existing landfill gas engines in Beddington, which will then be transported in highly insulated pipes to provide low-carbon heat and hot water to the homes.

Star Heat Pumps  (Fully Charged YouTube video) 25 February 2018

Robert Llewellyn meets David Pearson of Star Refrigeration who explains the advantages and potential for industrial, city-scale water source heat pump systems.

Geothermal Power: Written question – 129762 (Hansard) 26 February 2018

Q Asked by Chris Elmore( MP Ogmore) Asked on:

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Geothermal Power129762

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of using geothermal mine water to contribute to the UK’s energy supply; and if he will make a statement.

A Answered by: Claire Perry Answered on: 05 March 2018

The Clean Growth Strategy has a clear focus on the challenges and opportunities involved in decarbonising heat in buildings and industry. We need to reduce the emissions created by heating our homes and businesses as these contribute almost a third of UK emissions.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is working in partnership with The Coal Authority to better understand the geothermal mine water resource available across the UK. The Coal Authority has responsibility for managing the mining legacy and has recently assessed there to be over two million gigawatt hours of low carbon heat stored in mine workings across the UK.

There are a number of ways to utilise this resource: using the heat for heat networks, for agriculture and for energy storage. An example of where this is actively being considered is in Wales, with Bridgend County Borough Council and The Coal Authority working together to explore using this mine heat for a heat network to provide local homes and businesses with low carbon, affordable heating. This can help reduce carbon emissions and contribute to the UK’s energy supply.

Futuristic district heating: Top five heat networks (Switch2blog) 22-Feb-2018

District heating in the UK is starting to show its prowess as an answer to low carbon heat. Our latest blog looks at the top five heat networks and how they are bringing innovation to the sector and benefits to residents.

Mapping the UK heat sector and understanding the business risks of heat decarbonisation (UKERC) 21 Feb 2018

Mapping all of the businesses in the UK’s heat sector was, as it turned out, a slightly bigger challenge that we had initially anticipated.

Within our latest paper from the Heat, Incumbency and Transformations project: ‘A transformation to sustainable heating in the UK: risks and opportunities for UK heat sector businesses’ we have shone light, for the first time, on the businesses present in the UK heat sector.

Response to Scottish Government “Second consultation on local heat & energy efficiency strategies, and regulation of district and communal heating” (Heat & the City) 20 February 2018

Happy heat customers? (SE2) 13 February 2018

Perhaps the most disappointing result on the research is about lack of consumer information for heat network customers. They are less likely to receive any form of bill, account summary or statement compared to their non-network counterparts. And this is such an easy thing for the sector to fix. It’s not technical, doesn’t require an engineer or access into people’s homes. It’s just about prioritising communication.

Green goals: new ‘sustainable’ Sutton neighbourhood of 750 homes has green walls and its own district heating system (Evening Standard) 13 February 2018

A new neighbourhood of 750 homes moments from Hackbridge train station, it has its own district heating system, while green walls of urban vegetation help regulate air temperature, combat pollution, absorb rainwater and increase biodiversity.

Digitalisation in District Heating – The STORM controller (part 1) (Storm-DHC) february 14, 2018

Ever wondered what digitalisation and district heating have in common? Get ready for a success story! One of the newest digital innovations that connects all the pieces of the puzzle is the EU-funded STORM project.

How Can People Get The Heat They Want At Home, Without The Carbon? (Energy Systems Catapult) 12 February 2018

The Energy Systems Catapult has conducted extensive consumer research for the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) to understand how to put consumers at the heart of decarbonising heat. This bespoke blend of studies has developed a range of consumer-led key headlines:

Heat Trust consults on plans to open up scheme to more homes (Heat Trust) 2 February 2018

Under current rules, heat networks are required to have a Heat Energy Supply Agreement in place with each customer before they can register with Heat Trust.

However, for many housing associations and local authorities, Heat Energy Supply Agreements are not used, as heat arrangements are often captured in tenancy or leasehold agreements. Under the new plans the scheme would allow existing heat networks that do not use Heat Energy Supply Agreements to register with Heat Trust, providing that they clearly set out their commitments to specific service standards, terms and conditions – for example, by creating a customer charter.

BEIS HNDU 2017 Q4 heat network pipeline (January 2018)

The Heat Networks Delivery Unit pipeline provides an overview of the projects that HNDU is directly working with and which will be considering financing options.

Yell energy project starts (Shetland News) 7 February 2018

Shetland Islands Council (SIC) has received around £140,000 from the Scottish energy efficiency programme to form the strategy, which will act as a pilot for the Scottish Government.

The funding will enable to the project to run until March next year as it examines the domestic and commercial demand for heat and energy efficiency in Yell with a view to finding ways to meet this from low carbon sources locally.

Market report: Heat Networks in the UK (ADE) 31 January 2018

As the UK transitions to a low carbon and digitalised world, new opportunities arise to transform the way we heat our homes and buildings. The 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 up to £2 billion of additional capital investment and lead to the construction of hundreds of heat networks in England and Wales. Scotland has an ambition to connect 40,000 homes to heat networks by 2020, serving 1.5TWh of  heat through heat networks.

Pioneering energy plant to be next development at Newcastle’s Science Central (Newcastle Chronicle) 1 FEB 2018

A super-efficient energy system to power Newcastle’s Science Central marks the next phase in the multimillion-pound development. Plans have been submitted to Newcastle City Council planners which will see the creation of a two-storey Energy Centre as well as a network of pipes which will provide heat, hot and chilled water and air conditioning to the buildings.

Response to CMA Statement of Scope on the heat networks market study (Citizens Advice) 22 January 2018

The CMA recognises that due to the monopolistic nature of heat networks there are limited options for consumers to take control, actively engage and switch supplier: given the Government’s support for delivering new heat networks it is vital that the key issues within this market are tackled.  It is important to strive toward a better functioning heat market with stronger consumer protections and clearer expectations of suppliers in relation to price, billing, transparency and customer service. We welcome this timely intervention by the CMA.

£6.5m for Caerau coal mine water central heating plan (BBC) 19 January 2018

Bridgend council said the £9.4m scheme would extract water from the former Caerau colliery. The cash is to develop and implement technology to pump water from a depth of 230m (750ft) which has been heated by the earth to about 20.6C (70F).

Welsh Valleys village to lead the way in geothermal heating using mine water (PA) 19 January 2018

The scheme described as “trailblazing” would use underground mine water from the workings of the old Caerau colliery, which closed in the late 1970s, to heat houses, a school and a church in Caerau in the Llynfi Valley, South Wales.

On Friday, cabinet secretary for energy, planning and rural affairs Lesley Griffiths said the Welsh Government had awarded the project £6.5 million in EU funds.

Growing momentum behind district energy in London – new network planned for Uxbridge (Cambridge Network) 16/01/2018

The zero-carbon development requirements in the London Plan, which promotes Lean, Clean and Green development, have encouraged the implementation of district energy networks, which deliver significant energy efficiencies over traditional heating solutions.

HNDU Pipeline case studies (January 2018)

The Heat Networks Delivery Unit pipeline provides an overview of the projects that HNDU is directly working with and which will be considering financing options.

UK district heating specialists recognised in awards shortlist (DecentralizedEnergy.COM) 15/01/2018

Switch2 Energy has been shortlisted for two leading industry awards for excellence in district and community heating.

The company is a double finalist in the Heating and Ventilation (H&V) News Awards, which are an annual celebration of achievement and forward thinking across the building services industry. Switch2, which provides complete end-to-end management of community heating schemes, has reached the finals of the District Heating Project of the Year Award for its partnership with Sheffield City Council. The company is also shortlisted for the Domestic Heating Product of the Year Award – in recognition of its multifunctional Incontro smart meter for heat networks.

Could this be built to help heat the Centre of Manchester? – January 7, 2018

Manchester City Council’s Executive is to consider a proposal to create a new company, which would run the city’s low-carbon Civic Quarter Heat Network project.

The Civic Quarter Heat Network (CQHN) will operate for at least 30 years and will reduce the city’s carbon dioxide emissions by more than 3,500 tonnes per year.

Energy plant to heat area within months (Clydebank Post) 4 January 2018

A NEW energy plant will start creating heat for Clydebank within months and make the town the “greenest in Scotland”, it has been announced.

Planning permission was granted just before Christmas for the energy centre at Queens Quay, the first step in a district heat network that could eventually stretch as far as the Golden Jubilee. Councillors approved the plan that uses heat from the Clyde at Queens Quay basin, off Alisa Road, distributing it to expected homes, a care home and health centre, West College Scotland and Clyde Leisure Centre.

Manchester executive to rubber-stamp energy scheme and SRF (Place NW) 4 Jan 2018

Approving plans for the Civic Quarter Heat Network and an updated strategic regeneration framework for Great Jackson Street are the two key recommendations that will go before Manchester City Council’s executive at its meeting on 10 January. The executive will be asked to endorse the proposal to set up a holding company that will allow the city council to proceed with sustainable energy supplier Vital Energi on the £18m heat network scheme, which will be based at Manchester Central and also serve the Town Hall Extension, Heron House, Manchester Art Gallery, Central Library, the Midland Hotel and One St Peter’s Square.

The future of communal heating in Cheshire (PSE) 22 December 2017

East Cheshire Council benefiting from a £1m European Investment bank fund to develop ‘smart grid’ communal energy systems. Though these schemes are not new, Cheshire East is the first non-city authority to gain funding for this type of investment, following in the footsteps of London, Bristol and Glasgow, among others, to boost energy infrastructure in the area through the European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) project.

Identifying where district heating works best: District heating locations in Scotland

What might district heating zones in Scotland look like? While there is much uncertainty around the future of heat, this analysis of the Scottish Heat map compares two broad models for district heating business development, a ‘cross subsidising’ model and a ‘cherry picking’ model, across a wide range of assumptions for competing low carbon heat options. The headline results are that a cross-subsidising model would generally reach around 50% more heat demand than a cherry picking model, and that there is no spatial correlation between areas of urban fuel poverty and district heating potential (Dave Hawkey) (Nov 2017)

International news

Plug In with  District Energy in Cities (UNEP) March Newsletter

District Energy in Cities works globally to promote and deliver renewable and efficient energy systems that contribute to cleaner urban environments. District energy systems deliver low-carbon heating, cooling and power while cleaning our air, reducing energy demand, increasing urban resilience and providing affordable and reliable energy services. Much of the Initiative’s work is to build momentum with governments, private sector and the finance community to plan, develop and invest in district energy systems fit for the 21st century with sustainability at their core. Stories in Chile, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and China demonstrate some of the Initiative’s tangible impacts in everyday people’s lives.

SMR heat supply sales hinge on storage, power switching efficiency (nuclearenergyinsider) Apr 4, 2018

Storage efficiency, power-heat switching capability and infrastructure readiness will be key drivers of advanced reactor deployment in district heating networks, small modular reactor (SMR) experts told Nuclear Energy Insider.

The ability of SMRs to match demand profiles and switch between power and heat could determine which designs are selected for district heating applications. (Image credit: Grigorev Vladimir)

Last year, a study by the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland said SMRs could replace fossil fuels in district heat (DH) and industry steam production in Finland by around 2030.

IEA analyst: A heating and cooling target ‘could make a big difference’ (EURACTIV)  March 27, 2018

As talks on the EU’s renewable energy rules resume, one of the main talking points is how to decarbonise the heating sector, and deploy technologies like heat pumps and district heating. The International Energy Agency’s Ute Collier told EURACTIV in an interview that the task is complex and difficult.

How do countries get more renewable energy into their heating and cooling systems? Does district heating hold the answer?

It’s one of the points I make in the paper. District heating undoubtedly increases the potential but doesn’t mean that heating will automatically become cleaner and greener. Just look at countries like Poland, which has a lot of district heating but still runs largely on coal. You still need that political will and drive to meet RES targets.

But district heating is indeed fantastic infrastructure that allows you to tap into not just renewables but also waste heat, as well as increasing efficiency.

Countries that have little district heating face more challenges in increasing efficiency. Much of the housing stock isn’t actually suitable for renewable sources. You can’t just put a biomass boiler into every house, especially flats. Heat pumps face similar obstacles. District heating makes energy centres possible that can tap into those technologies though, as it is so flexible.

Small district heating systems key to improving Poland’s air quality (Regulatory Assistance Project) 23 March 2018

Small, coal-fired district heating systems are a major source of air pollution in Poland. Applying EU regulations would go some way toward solving this problem, write Edith Bayer and Richard Cowart of global energy policy advisors Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), but more needs to be done. Bayer and Cowart draw four lessons from a new study that looked at practical ways to modernize two small district heating systems in Poland.

St Pauls District Energy Annual Report March 2017

Looking back at 2017, we were excited to see more and more building owners and managers prioritizing energy efficient solutions in their operations. Our customers are looking for more data to inform decisions and investments. The market expectations demand energy cost effectiveness, as well as more flexibility and tenant accountability.

Norway: 1,520 Meter Well Drilled for Geothermal District Heating Project (Geothermal Resources Council) March 21, 2018

Rock Energy in partnership with Båsum Boring has this week reached 1,520 meters – the deepest geothermal well in Norway. The work was carried out using compressed air and hammer drilling technology. Alexander reported up to 20 meters an hour instant ROP in hard basement rock formation (6.5” hole).

France: Second Well Completed at Cachan Geothermal District Heating Project (Geothermal Resources Council) March 20 2018

The second subhorizontal geothermal well has been completed on the Paris suburban Cachan site for its customer Dalkia (EDF Group). The well, which will serve as the injection unit of the local Geothermal District Heating doublet, is similar in design to the production well achieved in late December 2017, recorded as a world premiere in geothermal well engineering. It features an open-hole drain, 8″1/2 in diameter and 1,005 m long (against 1,001 m for the first well).

Developing District Heating in Ireland (SEAI) 16 March 2018

Imagine life without fear of leaving on the immersion? Guest blogger, Donna Gartland, Executive Energy Planner with Codema – Dublin’s Energy Agency, writes about how Ireland needs to start looking to sustainable alternatives like district heating.

Highly efficient energy system to power Harvard’s Allston campus (Harvard) February 26, 2018

New district energy facility prioritizes climate resiliency, includes largest thermal storage tank in Massachusetts

Models for fast modelling of district heating and cooling networks (Renewable and Sustainable Energy Review) February 2018

Within the framework of AMBASSADOR, a collaborative project funded by European Commission under FP7, a Modelica® library for the modelling of thermal-energy transport in district heating systems has been developed. This library comprises detailed models of the distribution and consumption components commonly found in district heating systems.

Future views on waste heat utilization – Case of data centers in Northern Europe (Renewable and Sustainable Energy Review) February 2018

In this study the potential for data center waste heat utilization was analyzed in the Nordic countries.

Power-to-heat for renewable energy integration: A review of technologies, modeling approaches, and flexibility potentials (Applied Energy) February 2018

A flexible coupling of power and heat sectors can contribute to both renewable energy integration and decarbonization. We present a literature review of model-based analyses in this field, focusing on residential heating.

The joint effect of centralised cogeneration plants and thermal storage on the efficiency and cost of the power system (Energy) April 2018

This work investigates the optimal operation of cogeneration plants combined with thermal storage

Exploiting waste heat potential by long distance heat transmission: Design considerations and techno-economic assessment (Applied Energy) April 2018

Harvesting the waste heat from industrial processes or power plants is a very effective way to increase the efficiency of an energy system. Available usually as low-grade heat, it needs to be transferred to the points of consumption in order to be utilized.

Heating Stockholm with excess data centre energy (thestack) 22 February 2018

Erik Rylander, head of Stockholm Data Parks at Stockholm Exergi, works on a scheme that utilises one of the most common by-products of data centres around the world – heat. There are very few other examples of this, yet it has the potential to change the way we think about data centres and the cities we live in. Ahead of his speaking session at Data Centre World, Rylander spoke to The Stack about how the scheme works, avoiding wasteful energy use, and how to spread the warmth across Europe.

Data center heats homes: Yandex sells server waste energy to district heating (metropolitan.fi) February 2018

Internet company Yandex has a data center in Finland, which produces an abundance of heat. The northern country has an appetite for heating energy during the winter months. Engineers put one and one together and the servers now heat homes at large scale through district heating.

District Energy to Help Coyhaique School Children Stay Warm (DistrictEnergyinCities) 13 February 2018

European energy demand to increase with climate change (Daily Planet) February 2018

According to a study led by a climatologist working for the European Commission, projections of both climate change and population shifts indicate that energy demand is to increase overall in Europe.

Consumer-owned district heating – Denmark and Hvidovre (EBO consult video) January 2018

The aim of the video is to inform about the expansion of consumer-owned district heating in Denmark. Hvidovre Fjernvarme (a district heating cooperative) participates in the video. The video has been prepared in connection with an EU-project (REScoop PLUS) that aims to promote the expansion of consumer-owned energy companies and energy efficient initiatives in EU.

District heating shows lower total socio-economic cost in future energy system (solarthermalworld) January 31, 2018

According to a study conducted by Aalborg University as part of the IEA SHC Task 52 research project Solar Heat and Energy Economics in Urban Environments, exploiting the maximum potential will result in significant cost reductions if solar heat is supplied not individually but by district heating. The graph shows small changes of between -0.1 % and +0.2 % in total socio-economic cost both in the District Heating scenario (expansion of district heating grids) and the Heat Savings one (retrofits reduce heat demand in buildings) when the maximum solar thermal potential is realised by using either decentralised solutions or district heating to supply heat to consumers. The key factor influencing the outcome is the cost of solar thermal systems.

District Energy Systems in China 2017 (IEA)

China’s district heat network is the world’s largest. In 2015, it consumed more energy than the entire United Kingdom. While progress is being made, the total impact of energy use and emissions from district heating and even district cooling – on the Chinese economy, on local air quality and health, and on the overall well-being of China’s population – is nevertheless significant.

Heating Chinese cities while enhancing air quality (Modern Diplomacy) 21 December 2017

China’s district heat network – which supplies heat from central locations – is the world’s largest: in 2015, it consumed more energy than all of the United Kingdom. But district heating is also major source of air pollution in many Chinese cities. The beginning of the winter season usually coincides with a surge in air pollution, mostly due to coal-fired boilers used in commercial heat production.

 

Events

5th International Solar District Heating Conference: Graz on 11 and 12 April 2018.

The fifth edition of the International Solar District Heating Conference will take place on 11 and 12 April 2018 in Graz, Austria. Researchers, market actors and policy makers are invited to submit an abstract in order to present their most recent works and results at this key international event in the world of solar and renewable district heating. Please send your 2 page abstract before 6 October 2017 to SDHConference@solar-district-heating.eu. Your abstract will be evaluated by our program committee and you will be notified until 6 December 2017.

BEIS heat networks commercialisation workshop (BEIS) 13 April 2018

This event is aimed at organisations, groups and businesses who may be less familiar with heat networks but would like to know more.  The event aims to answer questions such as:

If you are a member organisation or have contacts that would benefit from attending, we would greatly appreciate you sharing and promoting the event as we are keen to reach a range of stakeholders. Please copy kristina.rafnsonhall@ecuity.com  into forwarded emails, so that we can make note of those who have forward the invitation and to make it easier for delegates to RSVP.

BEIS Conference Centre, 1 Victoria St, Westminster, London SW1H 0ET

10:00 to 13:00 (networking opportunities over tea/coffee. Lunch will not be provided)

RSVP: Please email Kristina Rafnson-Hall kristina.rafnsonhall@ecuity.com

Decarbonising the grid: Heat Networks, CHP and Heat Pumps – Swedish learning…by Heat Networks – Sustainability by Sweden & the CIBSE CHP-DH Group

Wed, April 18, 2018 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Embassy of Sweden – Alströmersalen

5 Upper Montagu Street London W1H 2AG

Critical Power and Decentralised Energy 2018

18 – 19 APRIL 2018 Ricoh Arena Coventry

SEE first-hand the very latest power products and technologies

KEEP up-to-date with industry developments

MEET face-to-face with leading technological experts

SOURCE new products and suppliers

EXPAND your company’s presence in the power market which is experiencing phenomenal growth

FREE ENTRY TO ALL VISITORS to the event and conferences makes this an absolute MUST ATTEND event for all professionals and decision makers in the power industry!

Key trio of energy and district heating events for REHAU this April (BuildingTalk) 5 Apr 2018

REHAU is preparing for key energy and district heating events nationwide this April, as it aims to convey its approach in achieving excellence within the industry.

REHAU will join industry experts to showcase its strategy and discuss approach for sustainably managing energy resources today.

They will also mention recent product innovations aimed to assist customers in achieving long-term energy, efficiency and affordability. REHAU will be at the popular DMS seminar on Wednesday, 18 April in Manchester, where Karl Price from REHAU will give attendees a background to pre-insulated pipes for heat networks.

The HEAT is on London – SECURE payment for DISTRICT heating  by Secure Meters UK Wed 2 May 2018

10:45 – 13:30 BST America Square Conference Centre 17 Crosswall

London EC3N 2LB

March 2018: New regulatory models for new markets - / Apr 2018
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