New ETI report highlights how the capital costs of UK heat networks could be reduced by 30-40%. District heating has the potential to play a much larger role in the UK energy system, but it needs to evolve to deliver more and larger schemes. Capital costs are the main barrier to wider district heat network adoption and are seen as disproportionate compared to alternative methods of low carbon heat provision. An ETI project has developed eight route maps that could reduce the capital cost infrastructure of heat networks by 30-40%. The ‘District Heat Networks in the UK: Potential, Barriers and Opportunities’ report identifies three high cost areas that present a barrier to heat network adoption in the UK, including pipework, installation and connection. As capital costs are the main barrier to district heat network deployment, the ETI believes that the ability to reduce these capital costs by utilising the eight route maps identified will increase the attractiveness of heat networks when compared against other forms of low carbon heat provision. Project research shows that nearly half of heat demand in the country could be met by heat networks and therefore should play a much larger part in the UK’s heat delivery system in 2050, especially to less efficient and higher density buildings. However, the ETI believes that the sector needs to be mobilised quickly because if it is to meet this potential, then hundreds of thousands of network connections are needed per year.
ETI 12th Nov 2018 read more »