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Vattenfall plots district heating network powered by London waste

By District Energy posted 05-04-2020 11:45


Business Green


Swedish energy giant strikes deal to tap waste heat generated at contentious London waste-to-energy plant and pipe it to 10,500 homes

Commercial and household rubbish could soon be heating tens of thousands of homes in South East London, thanks to a new partnership announced today between Swedish energy giant Vattenfall and the owner of a large waste-to-energy plant next to the Thames, Cory Riverside Energy.

Vattenfall Heat UK said it has secured the right to capture heat generated at the Belvedere waste incinerator in Bexley, South East London, in order to build a centralised heat network able to pipe low-carbon heat to roughly 10,500 local homes.

The two companies are now working on an application for funding from the government's £320m Heat Networks Investment Programme, Vattenfall said. If successful, the firm then plans to develop and operate the heat network's infrastructure and manage residential and commercial customers.

"Heating our homes and businesses currently accounts for around 20 per cent of UK greenhouse gas emissions," said Noah Nkonge, head of partnerships at Vattenfall Heat UK. "The Cory Riverside project is a great example of what can be achieved by multiple organisations working towards fossil-fuel free living."

Heat networks supply heat from a low or zero-carbon source - in this instance, waste heat - through a network of underground pipes, negating the need for boilers or electric heaters in individual buildings.

Vattenfall estimates the London heat network project could cut carbon emissions by up to 90 per cent compared to conventional gas boilers. The system will also be designed so that future homes and business properties can link up to the same heat network, even after the first phase of housing has been exhausted, the company added.

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