Utility Week

Utility Week 17th April 2015

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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The Topic: Heat HEAT THE TOPIC 10 | 17TH - 23RD APRIL 2015 | UTILITY WEEK A round 70 per cent of all the heat used in the UK comes from gas. Half of it is imported, with all the supply security concerns that implies. And concern over the cost of gas-fired heating is rising. Failing to tackle the decarbonisation of heat could also come at a cost to our decar- bonisation targets. If we are to achieve these commitments, it is fundamental to consider how we can reduce our emissions from heat. British industry consumes large amounts of energy, over 70 per cent of which is to provide heat. Currently, the high tempera- tures required by industrial processes are mostly provided by gas-fired boilers or gas combined heat and power, but with an increasing role for bioenergy. Industrial heat offers significant chal- lenges for policymakers. The relatively high cost of electricity makes it prohibitively expensive for widespread industrial heat generation. Most low-carbon heat technolo- gies, such as solar thermal and heat pumps, are unable to achieve the high temperatures required by industry. Therefore, if European and UK carbon costs rise, industrial energy users have limited options with which to reduce their carbon risk and their costs, creating a significant challenge to their international competitiveness. However, the biggest use of heat is for space heating. Heating within the domestic sector accounts for 23 per cent of UK energy demand, and commercial and public sector buildings account for over 10 per cent of total UK energy consumption. Individual gas boilers dominate the market and the Department of Energy and Climate Change calculates that continued levels of gas use will limit the ability of the UK to meet its decarbonisation targets. It is recognised that there needs to be fundamen- tal shi to alternative heating technologies. The government has identified two key options, district heating in dense urban areas and individual solutions such as heat pumps in rural areas. Increasing gas ef- ficiency, including micro-CHP is identified as the solution for sub-urban areas. Tim Rotheray, chief executive, Association for Decentralised Energy Royal Free Hospital The Royal Free Hospital needed to replace its ageing power infrastructure as well as cut its carbon emissions to meet the NHS target of a 10 per cent reduction by 2015. The hospital uses the heat that is lost by its 4.6MWCHP energy centre when producing power for the hospital and avoids transmission losses. Heat from the plant is converted into high-grade steam and introduced into the Royal Free's heating, hot water and chilled water systems. There are plans to provide low grade hot water to nearby residential buildings through a district heating network in the near future. WHERE ENERGY BLAZES A TRAIL, OTHERS WILL FOLLOW Viewpoint: The heat policy challenge Artist's impression, Battersea redevelopment,Virtual Images Artist's impression The Athletes Village energy centre houses an 844kW CHP engine, three 3MW back-up gas boilers and a 70,000 litre thermal store, which helped reduce the games' overall carbon emissions by 95 per cent to make them "the greenest games ever". In addition, it has been future-proofed to include capacity for an additional CHP engine, boiler and thermal store in order to accommodate connection to the 750 homes planned for the legacy phase of the development. The Battersea power station development announced in March that it will look into installing a water source heat pump to provide heat to 4,000 new homes, shops, offices and public amenities being provided at the former power plant. The government estimates that UK waterways could help households slash carbon emissions by 50 per cent by tapping up to 6GW of low-carbon heat through water- source heat pumps. SSE is doing feasibility study for the plant. Commonwealth Games Athletes Village Battersea Power Station development

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