- Project sought to identify solutions to drive major reductions in the capital cost associated with the infrastructure of heat networks
- Project aimed to identify cost estimates and time frames for employing newly identified solutions
- The project was led by AECOM
The project sought to identify the innovative solutions needed to deliver major reductions in the capital cost of heat network infrastructure and accelerate its deployment.
It examined the technical, process and system developments needed to deliver a step change reduction in the capital costs, along with cost estimates and time frames for undertaking these developments.
District heat networks supply heat to homes and businesses through pipes carrying hot water. They have great potential to deliver CO2 emissions reductions and cost benefits through the use of low carbon heat, waste heat from power stations, industry and other sources, combined heat and power, and large-scale heat pump deployment.
Heat networks are deployed in many regions of the world and are effective at delivering large quantities of heat, particularly to areas of high demand. Analysis by the ETI indicates that close to half of the UK existing heat demand could be connected to heat networks in an economical manner.
However, to date only around 2% of UK buildings are connected to district heat networks. The high initial capital investment and long timescales for installation have been identified as key barriers to the wider-scale deployment of district heat networks, and the Government’s heat strategy specifically identifies the need for infrastructure cost reduction.