The heating of homes in the UK accounts for almost a third of the country’s total carbon emissions. This means that finding greener ways to heat homes is key to achieving the government’s goal of bringing emissions down to net-zero by 2050.
In an effort to reach that ambitious target, UK officials have devised a plan to fund the creation of waste heat networks, which would essentially recycle surplus heat from factories, incinerator plants, and even disused mine shafts — all in a bid to accelerate the shift towards low-carbon heating.
The plan includes spending £30m ($42m) to help set up heat networks across cities like London, Manchester, and Glasgow, and a further £14.6m ($21.7m) to develop other low-carbon technologies that can heat and cool buildings without relying on fossil fuels.
As reported by the Guardian, the largest planned heat network for the UK will receive over £12m ($17m) to capture the surplus heat produced at a waste incineration plant in the borough of Bexley, south-east London, to heat up to 21,000 homes in the vicinity.
Waste heat networks represent a key component of the government’s low-carbon heating plans for urban areas, with other initiatives including electric heat pumps and retrofitting homes to use 100 percent green hydrogen for heating and cooking.
“Today’s funding package will accelerate the development of low-carbon technologies that will both reduce emissions and ensure people’s homes are warmer, greener, and cheaper to run,” said Lord Callanan, the minister for climate change.