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Developing a Clear Vision for Zero Carbon Heating in East London

By District Energy posted 04-29-2020 15:46


Environment Journal


With heat accounting for over a third of the UK’s carbon emissions, we need to look at district heating networks to ensure our heating infrastructure can transition to zero carbon. Innovative low-temperature networks will play a key role in ensuring clean, affordable and reliable energy for consumers.

Vattenfall Heat UK and Ramboll have collaborated to highlight the significant role ambient temperature networks will play reaching zero carbon in urban areas.

Adriana Rodriguez, director of south UK, Vattenfall Heat UK and Paul Steen, head of department, Ramboll, discuss more about the plans. 

The idea of a heat network in East London was first envisaged in 2007 by the London Development Agency, the then Mayor of London’s sustainable economic development delivery body. The regeneration of the London Thames Gateway offered the potential to deliver heat from a nearby power station to almost 150,000 new homes, saving 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year; it was a compelling case.

The public-led project failed to materialise because of protracted procurement issues, a stalled housing market and the eventual demise of the Barking Power Station. The area has changed considerably since then and is a now a vibrant hub of regeneration set alongside new approaches to district heating based on lower temperature systems utilising otherwise wasted local energy from waste plants, sewage undertakings and cooling system.

Vattenfall Heat UK is focused on making fossil-free living possible within one generation and commissioned Ramboll to develop a study to support the vision for a district energy system in East London to transition an entire area of the city to zero-carbon.

The proposed East London Heat Network is envisaged to extend to a length of approximately 30km across four London Boroughs, with the objective of achieving low to zero carbon heat supply to existing properties and new developments.

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