1. Editorial – How do we get there?
  2. Guest Editorial – Sources of finance for heat networks (George Robinson, BEIS)
  3. Costs of low carbon heating – an infographic (17 May 2018) National Infrastructure Commission
  4. UK News
  5. International News
  6. Events
  7. Past Issues

Editorial – How do we get there?

An interesting report published this month was a study undertaken by Element Energy on behalf of the National Infrastructure Commission. This sought to indentify the cheapest means of fully decarbonising heat by 2050. Although the national target is an 80% carbon reduction the authors believe that a total decarbonisation is necessary in order to allow headroom for sectors including industry, agriculture, aviation and shipping where decarbonisation will be extremely difficult to achieve. The study considered a number of technological pathways including electrification of heat (both heat pumps and direct electric resistive heat with storage), biomethane through the grid, repurposing the grid to carry hydrogen, hybrid gas/electric systems, biomass and heat networks. Whatever route is taken the average annual cost of heating per household will be £100 – £300 higher in 2050 than business as usual. Although given an assumed rise in GDP of 2.3% per annum this increase is considered “manageable” and will actually comprise a smaller proportion of GDP than at present. Nevertheless the study anticipates that there will be “significant distribution impacts”.

Before considering the alternative pathways the authors identified a number of ‘no and low regrets’ options that should be implemented anyway. Demand side energy efficiency both as higher standards for new build and through retrofit programmes are a no brainer. In areas with sufficient heat density and diversity, heat networks are identified as a low regrets and low cost contributor to other pathways and could supply between 10 – 25% of heat demand. Biomethane injection into the gas grid and biomass heating in off-grid areas are also helpful contributions.

In analysing the costs of the different pathways the study identifies where the burden will fall in the total energy system – upstream, distribution, or downstream in the consumer’s premises. For example, retrofitting heat pumps into homes will be more complex and costly than direct electric resistive heating or hydrogen boilers, re-purposing the gas grid for hydrogen will be less costly than the massive grid upgrade necessary for electrified heat whereas as the upstream cost of hydrogen will be huge. Secondly, it also considers the different time lines for each pathway up to 2050.

The cheapest option overall was found to be re-purposing the gas grid to carry hydrogen. However, this came with huge uncertainties. Apart from persuading consumers that it is safe to burn hydrogen in their homes the main costs are up stream. The authors dismissed hydrogen formulation through electrolysis using surplus wind and solar power as limited and unlikely to be sufficient to meet demand. Instead the most likely source is steam methane reformation (SMR). A pre-requisite for this option is carbon capture and storage (CCS) for the carbon stripped out of the methane. The viability of CCS is the largest ‘unknown’ in this pathway. Furthermore, this is unlikely to be resolved in the near future.  The study suggests that such a transition to a hydrogen gas grid will commence in 2030, assuming the uncertainties around CCS can be resolved, with actual connections beginning in 2035.

The question for government is whether to bet all our chips on this one option?

There is one set of players at the table who say yes. Research into energy industry incumbents by Exeter University, in a report published by UKERC, mapped out the players across the energy industry and their interrelationships. It analysed their data according to who has the most to gain or lose from a centralised hydrogen pathway against a decentralised pathway with heat networks as a key part. Those that have most to win by the former and lose by the latter were the gas suppliers, gas network operators and manufacturers of gas appliances. Unsurprisingly it was found that the network operators and appliance manufacturers are the most vociferous in the lobbying and promotion of the hydrogen option (gas suppliers were more relaxed as presumably they feel they are more able to pivot towards the international market).  This is viewed by the authors as a defensive strategy and therefore government must take care in handling information provided by vested interests in the gas industry as well as trade associations and counter their efforts to maintain dominant market positions. The Government and the regulator must work to diversify the market and encourage gas network operators to enter the heat network market and appliance manufacturers to make heat pumps. Given the scale and speed of the transformation required Government must be open about the challenge and design policies that ensure all technologies, particularly proven ones, are deployed.

Separately, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published the initial findings of its heat market study. This broadly reflected the BEIS Heat Network Customer Satisfaction Survey (December 2017) in finding that most heat network customers enjoy prices similar to other forms of heating or lower. However it also found that a minority paid significantly more. Unlike the earlier Which? report on heat networks it drilled down to find that higher prices were more likely on privately operated and metered networks. High standard charges were highlighted in particular. Key concerns were the around designers manipulating the balance of whole life costing to shift the burden from capex to opex, lack of consumer ability to switch and a poor transparency, particularly with information provided to new consumers. The CMA has not, as yet, called for a full market investigation, but it has called for heat networks to be regulated, including on price. Underlying its decision was a view that the market is about to grow rapidly and therefore they wish to avoid the risk of locking in poor behaviour.

Regulation but what type?

Given the complexity of rolling out a variety of technologies with different needs, risks and timelines and the speed with which it has to be done, is it possible to do so within the current market framework? Or will the Government and the regulator have to intervene and butt heads together to avoid the market players fighting it out for short term market share? If heat networks are to grow in dense urban areas up to 2035 alongside electrified heat as well as reducing demand through more efficient buildings that means that gas networks in those areas may be redundant. Or could new policies be introduced to prioritise the use of biomethane/hydrogen/bioSNG for heat network plant rooms? Are the networks operators going to adjust willingly or will stronger methods need to be deployed?  The regulator could tweak the market by introducing incentives for gas network operators to enter the heat network market. In the editorial in the last issue I argued that the focus of regulation should be on outcomes – namely delivered heat to the customer – rather than fuels. The means of providing it should be agnostic. This can be done as the upfront cost of capital can be ‘socialised’ across a much broader customer base. This would reduce the high standing charges that customers on new heat networks currently face.  If they fail to respond to such gentle encouragement then more directive regulation may be necessary in the form “heat zoning by local authorities”, as suggested by the National Infrastructure Commission, to coordinate the deployment of different heating technologies. My guess is that it is going to take much more Government directive intervention in the market in order to get the right mix of technologies and infrastructure in the right locations in order to meet the 2050 target. The greater challenge will be for civil servants in leading politicians to that conclusion. The classic British ‘fudge’ is not going to do it.

Michael King


Guest Editorial – Sources of finance for heat networks (George Robinson, BEIS)

All infrastructure projects, heat networks or otherwise, will need to establish how they are going to be financed. Different types of finance will want to engage with a project at different stages of development. More often than not the point at which they will want to engage will be linked to the extent to which they will want to bear risk and correspondingly the level of reward that they will expect.

For a heat network, the point at which a project developer / sponsor might reasonably start thinking about potential sources of finance would be following the completion of a techno-economic feasibility study. At this point the project should have a fairly good assessment of potential costs, customers & associated revenue streams, and overall deliverability. There are plenty of questions still to answer but the beginnings of a business case are there.

There are some key questions that any project developer will need to ask herself when considering potential sources of finance:

There are a range of different types of finance that can help share this risk, in part or full, and a number have expressed an interest in investing in heat networks on BEIS’ website (highlighted green). If you are a project sponsor (private or public), BEIS’ Heat Network Delivery Unit (HNDU@beis.gov.uk) is able to provide you with one-page summaries of each investor’s market offer and help facilitate introductions. Broadly investors can be separated into the following categories:

As we move further right the more likely that the investor will either want to provide their capital to a credit worthy counterparty (e.g. direct to a Local Authority) who would then on-invest into the project or require Parent Company Guarantees (PCGs) if providing finance direct to the project. This is recourse finance.

Investors further to the left will essentially be providing their capital at full risk and therefore will likely want to be more involved in the project’s development to help mitigate project risk (e.g. through contract negotiation). This is non-recourse finance. Anything in the middle is limited recourse finance.

We are hoping to issue supplementary guidance on sources of finance later this year so watch this space. In the meantime if you do have finance related questions do get in touch: George.robinson@beis.gov.uk.

By George Robinson, HNDU Investment and Finance, BEIS

Costs of low carbon heating – an infographic (17 May 2018) National Infrastructure Commission

Infographic by National Infrastructure Commission

UK News

HNDU Round 8 Launched (BEIS) June 2018

The Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU) in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is pleased to announce that the next round of grant funding, Round 8, is now open for applications. HNDU funding is open to local authorities in England and Wales for the early stages of heat network development (heat mapping, energy masterplanning, techno-economic feasibility, detailed project development and early commercialisation).

Round 8 will be open from 17 May 2018 to 31 December 2018. For details on Round 8 and the application process, please see the HNDU Round 8 guidance document on the HNDU webpage – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/heat-networks-delivery-unit

To request an application form, local authorities should email hndu@beis.gov.uk

(The Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP), the Government’s £320m capital investment support programme, is due to start receiving applications in the autumn.)

Geothermal Energy: Clackmannanshire (Hansard) 4 June 2018

Luke Graham (Ochil and South Perthshire) (Con)

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, for granting this Adjournment debate on geothermal energy in Clackmannanshire. I am grateful for the opportunity to talk about this potentially exciting, new, greener renewable technology in the energy sector and its ramifications for Clackmannanshire, Scotland and the whole of the United Kingdom.

Work starts on Glenrothes’ energy scheme (The Courier) 8 June 2018

The plant will provide heat to homes and businesses across the town, as well as to the council’s headquarters at Fife House. The local authority’s environment spokesman, SNP councillor Ross Vettraino, hailed the project, which has been in the pipeline for a number of years. “Fife is once again leading the way in tackling climate change,” he said. “Bringing a district heating scheme to Glenrothes will help us reach our goal of reducing carbon emissions by 42% by 2020.”

Danish and Scottish governments sign heat MoU (Network) 31 May 2018

The Danish and Scottish governments have signed a renewed memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on low carbon heat, district heat systems and energy efficiency in buildings. The signing ceremony took place in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh earlier this month (May) when Lars Christian Lilleholt, the Danish Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate, met Paul Wheelhouse, the Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy.

Putting the customer first in district heating development (EnergyManager Magazine) 29 May 2018

Ian Allan, Head of Research and Development for district and community heating specialist Switch2 Energy, explains the principles of designing and planning heat networks around the long-term needs of the customer.

Dundee to consider district heating strategy (ScottishHousingNews) 29 May 2018

A decade long vision that will start to deliver small scale, local heating schemes, similar to one developed in the Logie area in 1919 will be discussed by councillors next week.

John Alexander, convener of Dundee City Council’s policy and resources committee, said: “As a city we led the way in such systems and I am delighted to be bringing forward plans that will use the latest techniques and equipment to reduce fuel costs, carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. Dundee District Heating Strategy

District heating network in Aberdeen to be expanded (AberdeenEveningExpress) 24 May 2018

Proposals to expand the existing network in Balnagask Circle to include the Deeside Family Centre, Balnagask House and Provost Hogg Court have been unanimously approved. Aberdeen Heat and Power designed, built and maintain the existing heating installation in Torry and is considered well placed to be the service provider for the extension.

Stakeholder Engagement in Heat Networks A guide for project managers (June 2018)

Carbon Trust

Robust stakeholder engagement is one of the biggest issues left to tackle if we are to see more and better networks being built in the UK. Stakeholder engagement is a thread that must run throughout the development of every heat network project, as well as its operation. When done well it can make the difference between requests for resources being refused or accepted, customers signing up or walking away, and investors backing the project or looking elsewhere. Poor stakeholder engagement is likely to lead to unnecessary project risk, increased cost, the narrowing of options and can, ultimately, lead to project failure.

Incumbency in the UK heat sector: Implications for policy (UKERC) 31 May 2018

Full paper here

This briefing paper summarises the key policy implications from the last of three working papers published by the Heat Incumbency Transitions Team. This research has investigated the role and behaviour of heat market ‘incumbents’ in relation to the decarbonisation of heat.

Householders could save hundreds on energy bills as Dundee council set to roll out energy project (Dundee Evening Telegraph) 1 June 2018

Among the first to see benefits will be more than 700 residents in Lochee who could enjoy improvements as early as the end of this year.

Work is due to begin on introducing the project at 550 flats in Kirk Street and 168 in Whorterbank later this year with completion expected in 2019.

A report to go before Dundee City Council’s policy and resources committee on Monday will seek approval for the District Heating Strategy 2018-2028.

Urban Energy Landscapes and the Rise of Heat Networks in the United Kingdom (Journal of Urban Technology) 21 May 2018

In the past decade, district heat networks have emerged as a key strategy for the UK government to achieve its 2050 decarbonization targets. Reports and analyses have focused on the technical and economic challenges of introducing networked heat provision in a country where this is a relatively novel energy service. Meanwhile, there has been little emphasis on the spatial and physical aspects of heat provision and their influence on the spatial development of cities. In this paper, we contribute to current debates on urban energy transitions with insights on the implications of heat networks to cities including scale, density, mixed-use, and materiality. The study reveals the embeddedness of energy services and the emergence of new forms of local governance that combine spatial and energy planning to realize new urban energy landscapes.

HWA launch heat networks design guide (Network) 24 May 2018

A new design guide for heating and hot water engineers and heat network designers has been launched by the Hot Water Association (HWA).

The guide has been designed to help the industry navigate the design of efficient and effective hot water storage in heat networks, delivering the best possible service to the consumer.

Isaac Occhipinti, head of external affairs, the Hot Water Association said: “The HWA Design Guide for Stored Hot Water Solutions in Heat Networks 2018′ provides design guidance and advice for engineers who are looking to specify stored hot water solutions working within a heat network.

HWA Heat Design Guide available here

ADE Heat Network Conference 2018 reveals alignment across Government, regulation and industry (ADE) 18 May 2018

The Heat Network Conference attracted more than 100 delegates to discuss how heat networks can make the leap from being a featherweight to heavyweight contender in meeting the UK’s heating needs.

Cost analysis of future heat infrastructure (17 May 2018) National Infrastructure Commission

Heat networks are also identified as a low regrets option with the potential to reduce carbon emissions at low or negative cost as part of any pathway, particularly through the utilisation of waste and environmental heat.

We find that between 10% and 25% of the UK’s heat demand could be met through heat networks with a net reduction in system cost irrespective of the decarbonisation pathway taken, leading to carbon emissions reductions of up to 10 MtCO2 / yr.

Housing: Carbon Emissions Asked by John Healey (Wentworth and Dearne)  23 April 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of increasing the use of hydrogen for domestic heating on the level of household emissions.

Answered by: Claire Perry. Answered on: 01 May 2018

The Department is currently undertaking work to strengthen and assess the evidence on the range of potential approaches to decarbonising heat, including on the use of hydrogen. There are a number of technologies with the potential to make a major contribution to decarbonisation. As well as hydrogen, these include, heat pumps, hybrid gas and electric heating systems and district heating networks. I plan to publish a report on the Department’s review of the evidence later this year.
The Department has also commissioned the Hy4Heat project which aims to provide essential technical evidence on the use of hydrogen for heat in buildings. This will include developing and testing hydrogen boilers. The project has a total budget of £25m and will run until 2021.

Glasgow heat firm eyes Aberdeen energy sources (Energy Voice) 4 May 2018

Aberdeen’s rivers and seas are being eyed up by a Scottish renewable’s company as a lucrative energy resource. Dave Pearson, director of Glasgow based cooling company Star Renewable Energy, yesterday said his firm could harness the power of the Don, the Dee and the North Sea with giant heat pumps. Mr Pearson, who has 40 years’ experience in the industrial refrigeration sector, said: “If we harness local energy sources, such as a river, in Aberdeen’s case there’s three sources – The Don, The Dee and the North Sea – that heat can be harvested and delivered to the district heating networks that either exist of could be built in the city.

Bristol City Council have now launched The City Leap Prospectus (Bristol City Council)

A series of energy and infrastructure investment opportunities where the council is seeking long-term partnerships to collaborate on building a more sustainable Bristol.

The aim of City Leap is to create a series of energy and infrastructure investment opportunities that not only create a healthier and fairer city for all our residents, but also create jobs, maintain our economic competitiveness, de-carbonise the city, build strong partnerships and empower communities to shape the city’s sustainable future. The City Leap Prospectus can be found at: www.energyservicebristol.co.uk/prospectus and we’ve opened an expression of interest window for organisations, which closes on 31 August.

A new generation of heating? (inside housing) 2 May 2018

Are communal heating systems set to play a growing role in social housing? Gavriel Hollander takes a look at a pilot that aims to show that they should

An answer could be found in a BEIS-funded pilot, which came to an end last year. The project involved three housing associations – Octavia, Network Homes and Guinness Partnership – teaming up with energy consultants Guru Systems and Fair Heat to install and run smart meters on some of their London-based heat networks and then use the data collected to improve performance.

The 115 flats at Octavia’s Elizabeth House scheme in Wembley, north London, have had their heating and hot water supplied by a communal network since the building was completed in 2013. But since then, the 4,500-home landlord has encountered higher than expected costs for generating and pumping heat, while residents have complained of overheating in their flats and communal spaces.

Bridgend plans £2m pipe network to share cheap heat around the town (Wales Online) 30 April 2018

The first phase of the project will heat the leisure centre, community facilites and a new housing development – further phases would expand it

The project’s £2 million first phase involves the installation of a combined heat and power boiler at Bridgend Life Centre which would then be used to warm not only the leisure centre but the nearby bowls hall, the civic offices and the new Sunnyside development being built by Linc Cymru.

So, farewell then, national heat map … But we’re still working in the heat map sector (CSE ) 27 April 2018

The National Heat Map has this month (April 2018) been de-commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Created by CSE in 2010 on behalf of BEIS’ predecessor, the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the National Heat Map was devised to support the planning and deployment of local low-carbon energy projects in England by providing publicly accessible high-resolution web-based maps of heat demand by area.

New Heat from waste water project underway (Scottish Water Horizons) 26 April 2018

Scottish Water Horizons and SHARC Energy Systems have joined forces to establish a joint venture which has already enabled a new heat from waste water system on the west coast of Scotland.

The Aqualibrium swimming pool, leisure centre and library complex in Campbeltown is the first project to be delivered under the joint venture, and will deliver significant carbon savings to Argyll & Bute Council.

The SHARC technology will intercept waste water from Scottish Water’s nearby Kinloch Park Pumping Station, and will provide the centre with the majority of its heating requirements.

Cardiff’s trash to be used to heat city’s public buildings (WalesOnline) 16 April 2018

Heat from Cardiff’s Splott incinerator will be piped into public buildings across the city as part of a proposed £26.2million scheme.

Energy from burning non-recyclable waste at the Trident Park Energy Recovery Facility would be transported through a network of underground pipes to provide heat to public and commercial buildings across Cardiff. Buildings connected to the network would no longer have to use gas to heat their properties – reducing energy bills and Cardiff’s carbon emissions.

Appraisal of domestic hydrogen appliances (BEIS) April 2018

A study exploring the engineering challenges of developing domestic gas hobs, ovens, fires and boilers that can run on 100% hydrogen.

International comparisons of heating, cooling and heat decarbonisation policies (BEIS) 12 April 2018

As part of its wider research into heat decarbonisation, BEIS commissioned Vivid Economics and Imperial College to summarise the evidence base on how other countries provide heating and cooling. The focus of this report is heating and cooling in buildings, viewed broadly across residential and non-residential sectors with an emphasis on OECD countries. The report focuses on two overarching questions:

  1. what challenges are shared by the UK and with other countries in the area of heat decarbonisation and where is there less commonality?
  2. what learning and innovation opportunities exist outside of the UK, both in countries where there are clear points of comparisons as well as contrasts?

Innovation needs assessment for biomass heat (BEIS) 12 April 2018

As part of its wider research into heat decarbonisation, BEIS commissioned E4Tech to assess the impact that innovation could have on the development of technologies and feedstocks for biomass heating.

This project identifies actions needed to drive technology and feedstock options where innovation could make the biggest difference to their potential to decarbonise heat to 2050. The following technologies or feedstocks were selected on the basis of their potential contribution to decarbonisation of heat, and the potential for innovation to have a significant impact on their costs, supply potential or sustainability characteristics.

Estimating the cost reduction impact of the Heat Networks Investment Project on future heat networks (BEIS) 11 April 2018

This report details findings of how the Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) can contribute to cost savings of future heat networks using the heat TINA model. The report focuses on learning-by-doing cost reductions as well as interviews with heat network experts from the UK, Denmark and Sweden.

The research was commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and undertaken by the Carbon Trust.

Evaluation of the Heat Networks Delivery Unit: wave 2, final report (BEIS) 11 April 2018

The second and final wave was published in April 2018, and focused on 3 main areas:

Interviews were conducted with local authority leads, consultants, HNDU staff and key stakeholders identified in the wave 1 research (NHS and housing developers).

Evaluation of the Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP): pilot process report (BEIS) 11 April 2018

The main report, Evaluation of the Heat Networks Investment Project, details key findings of evaluation research for HNIP, and focusses on a process evaluation of the HNIP Pilot scheme.

The evaluation was commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and undertaken by a consortium led by Risk Solutions, including the Policy Studies Institute, the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations, and the Policy Studies Institute.

The second document produced by Ecuity – Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP): Learning from the pilot – is a 2 page summary outlining lessons learned from the pilot which can be used to improve the main scheme.

Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP): scheme overview (BEIS) 11 April 2018

It provides an overview of:

Developing heat networks: Ecobuild 2018 presentations (BEIS) 11 April 2018

What is a heat network? (BEIS) March 2018

‘What is a heat network’ explains and illustrates heat networks and their key benefits. It includes:

the range of potential customers and sponsors

International News

STORM & FLEXYNETS Event Put Digitalisation of DHC on the Agenda (STORM DHC) 12 June 2018

The final results of the STORM and FLEXYNETS projects were presented during the Digital Heat event on 29 May in Brussels. The event was jointly organised with the Flexynets project and showcased the latest technology developments on digitalisation in district heating, with STORM and FLEXYNETS as flagship projects developing first-of-their-kind technical solutions for intelligent district heating and cooling networks.

Solar Heat Worldwide (IEA SHC) June 2018

This report is split into two parts. The first part (Chapters 3 – 4) gives an over all overview of the global solar thermal market development in 2017. In addition, general trends are described and detailed 2017 data on successful applications, such as solar assisted district heating and solar heat for industrial processes, are documented. The second part (Chapters 5 – 8) presents detailed market figures for the year 2016 from 66 countries around the globe. The concluding chapter of the second part is focused on solar thermal system cost and levelized cost of solar heat for different applications and regions worldwide.

District Heating Falls to Its Lowest Price Ever in Denmark (GreenTechMedia) 31 May 2018

Figures released this month show the cost of district heating has fallen to its lowest-ever level in Denmark. Cheap renewable energy was not directly responsible for the milestone, however. Instead, low spot market prices, which may have been in part a result of renewable generation, caused an uplift in subsidies received by combined heat and power (CHP) plants under a 15-year-old support scheme that is due to be phased out at the end of this year. The subsidy, which is inversely linked to electricity prices, helped cut the cost of CHP generation and, combined with low natural-gas prices, caused the average price of district heating to fall. The Danish Energy Regulatory Authority, Energitilsynet, said household heating prices had fallen by an average of 3.8 percent in March 2018 compared to a year previous.

How a green energy system could benefit downtown Sydney (CBC) 31 May 2018

Experts in green energy heating are meeting with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality this week to discuss the potential for a district system for downtown Sydney, N.S. “It would be cheaper than what we are doing now and is particularly beneficial to Sydney where there is no natural gas available,” said David Brushett, a manager with Efficiency Nova Scotia.

Enwave generally operates in larger municipalities, said Brushett. “So it is very exciting and innovative.”

A $7.5M redesign is in the works for downtown Sydney He said the cheaper heat would be great for revitalizing the downtown and encouraging future development.

Options include geothermal heat from water in the harbour, recovering heat from sewage and using bio-gas from the waste treatment plant to produce heat.

Sustainability ‘imagineered’: The Disney-led resort powered by geothermal energy (EDIE) 15 May 2018,

edie’s senior reporter Matt Mace travels to the outskirts of Paris to uncover how Villages Nature Paris tapped into geothermal energy to deliver on a holistic 10-step sustainability framework.

A Mechanism for Institutionalised Threat of Regulation: Evidence from the Swedish District Heating Market (University St Gallen) May 2018

This is the first study that uses a natural experiment to test the Regulatory Threat Hypothesis. We use a unique novel dataset on unregulated Swedish local district heating monopolists and a new measure of threat – customer complaints. Our results support the Regulatory Threat Hypothesis: firms reduce prices when they feel threatened by price regulation. We also find evidence that (otherwise unrelated) monopolists homogenize locally prices to reduce complaints and thus to reduce threat of regulation. This mechanism is related to Yardstick competition and to behavioral theories of fair pricing.

Copenhagen’s neighbourhood heating system cuts carbon emissions by 20% (apolitical)

Now other European cities are trying the district heating model

Digital Roadmap for District Heating and Cooling (DHC+ Technology Platform c/o Euroheat & Power) May 2018

The Digital Roadmap for District Heating & Cooling offers insights on how digitalisation impacts the industry, showcases the current state of the art, identifies barriers and presents objectives, targets and recommendations for each of the topics: Production Level, Distribution Level, Building Level, Consumption Level, Design & Planning and Sector Coupling & Integration of Multiple Sources.

Europe’s longest heated cycle path to connect Dutch cities (Guardian) 10 April 2018

The longest heated cycle path in western Europe, and possibly the world, is set to be built in a Dutch beauty spot to cut the  between two of the country’s cities all year round. The new 1.7km “cycle highway”, which forms part of the route linking Wageningen and Arnhem in the east of the Netherlands, will be kept warm by residual heat from a local paper plant.

Thermal load forecasting in district heating networks using deep learning and advanced feature selection methods (Energy) August 2018

Two novel methods to forecast heat loads in district heating networks are presented. First model employs automated feature selection with polynomial linear regressors. Second model is based on a neural network and deep learning techniques.


District Heating – Delivering affordable heat Wednesday 20 June 2018

The Royal Danish Embassy, 55 Sloane Street, London SW1X 9SR

Experience in Denmark and elsewhere shows that district heating can also reduce heating bills for customers when compared to the alternatives. This seminar looks at different partnership models for getting projects off the ground in the UK.

Heat Networks: Learning from Experience – District Energy Vanguards Network workshop

Thursday 5th July, 2018 – National Railway Museum, York

The UK District Energy Vanguards Network is hosting a free one-day workshop in York on Thursday 5th July 2018 that will provide a platform of expert speakers sharing real-life experiences of developing a heat network. The event is specifically designed for local authorities and other public sector bodies developing district heating networks.

Developing a heat network is a long and complex process. Each local project will have its own stakeholders, strategic objectives, technical opportunities and business case. For many of you, this will be the first (and possibly only) heat network project that you manage and you’ll have some questions. What are the stages and processes to get a heat network project across the line? How long will each stage take? How much will it cost?

On 5th July, we will be bringing together a group of experienced local authority officers to share their stories with you. They have been instructed to tell the truth, warts and all, about the challenges they faced in developing their network projects. You’ll have the chance to quiz them and get their advice about your heat network projects and plans. Our speakers will include:

Further speakers and the full agenda will be confirmed in due course.
You can register your place at https://vanguards-learning-from-experience.eventbrite.com

Note: Vanguards events are designed for local authorities and other public sector bodies. Commercial delegates are limited to a small number of sponsors. Other commercial representatives may only attend if they can provide authorisation that they are representing a public sector body. If you’re not sure, please contact liz.warren@se-2.co.uk.

Pumping Sunshine: is zero-carbon a reality or a pipe dream for heat networks

Wednesday 11th July at 16:00, at 58 Victoria Embankment, London. An evening of lively debate on the issues of generating zero-carbon and zero-combustion heat. Organised by Eoghan Maguire, BA Heat, Vattenfall, eoghan.maguire@vattenfall.com

Key discussion topics will include:

Followed by a networking session with key protagonists driving the sector.

Contact eoghan.maguire@vattenfall.com bu June 26th.

Local Authority Sustainable Energy: Opportunities, Constraints, Ways Forward

Friday 14 September 2018, Coin Street Neighourhood Centre

108 Stamford Street

London SE1 9NH

This conference is designed to provide a neutral and open space for local authority personnel, already involved in sustainable energy, to share ideas, experiences, and to learn from one another. Given the fast pace of technological, business model, policy and political change this is an important time to assess opportunities, constraints and ways forward for local authorities across the broad spectrum of sustainable energy. The conference also provides a forum for networking and establishing new connections

PRASEG SEMINAR: Zero Carbon Heat & the Consumer

Tuesday 26 June 2018, 1 Parliament Street, SW1A 2LW, Room C, 15.00hrs – 17.00hrs

Domestic heat accounts for over 40% of UK energy consumption and nearly a quarter of all carbon emissions. Government recognises that if we are to improve the efficiency of energy systems, continue benefiting from secure supplies of fuel, and achieve statutory decarbonisation goals greater focus is needed on transforming the UK’s heat supply.

Options being considered range from individual solutions such as heat pumps and biomass boilers, area-wide district heating systems, to decarbonisation of the gas grid through the injection of hydrogen, biomethane or bioSNG supplies. BEIS have outlined their support for these routes in the Clean Growth Strategy but they will now require greater support and investment if they are to be fully integrated across the UK energy system.

With this fundamental change across tens of millions of homes, consumer needs must be best served by policy makers and technology providers as we shift to a zero carbon heat system. In light of this ‘Zero Carbon Heat and the Consumer’ asks:

Chaired by:
James Heappey MP, PRASEG Chair
Contributions from:
Bindi Patel, Head of Scheme, Heat Trust (confirmed)
Lily Frencham, Senior Policy Manager, Association of Decentralised Energy (ADE) (confirmed)
Emma Floyd, Project Director, Heat Network Investment Project, BEIS (confirmed)
John Saunders, Investment Direcgtor, Heat Network Delivery Unit, BEIS (confirmed)
Virginia Graham, Chief Executive, Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) (invited)
Adam Scorer, Chief Executive, National Energy Action (NEA) (confirmed)

May 2018: How do we get there? - / May 2024
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