Funding announced for heat network using waste heat from data centres


cloud data centre

Through a share of £65 million in funding, thousands of homes will be heated by waste heat from nearby data centres in a “UK first”, the UK Government says.

The UK Government has announced £65 million in funding for five green heating projects. The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation in the London boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Brent and Ealing will be the “first-of-its-kind” to construct a heat network that uses recycled waste heat from large computer systems storing internet data, the UK Government says.

Through £36 million in funding support, the UK Government says the heat network will connect 10,000 new homes and 250,000m2 of commercial space to a low-carbon energy source that will reduce energy bills and contribute to the UK’s drive to achieve net zero by 2050.

It is one of five green heating projects in London, Watford, Suffolk and Lancaster allocated grants from the Green Heat Network Fund. The UK Government says one of the projects will allow Lancaster University “fully decarbonise” its campus through over £21 million in funding support for a new low-carbon heat network.

The heat network will supply heat to the university campus using a large heat pump, powered by a new solar farm and existing wind turbine.

We are investing in the technologies of the future.

Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho commented: “Innovative projects, like these announced today, are another example of why the UK is a world leader in cutting carbon emissions.  

“We are investing in the technologies of the future so that families across the country will now be able to warm their homes with low-carbon, recycled heat – while creating thousands of new skilled jobs.”

Heat networks supply heating and hot water to homes and businesses via heat pumps or sources from underground, manufacturing, and waste management. The transition to heat networks forms a major part of the UK’s carbon reduction commitment, with heating in buildings making up 30% of all UK emissions, the UK Government says.

The funding comes on top of £122 million already awarded to support 11 new heat network projects across the country, under the government’s Green Heat Network Fund.

Commenting on the funding, Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: “Keeping homes warm with waste heat from technology is a glimpse into the future – and demonstrates just how innovative this country can be when it comes to reducing our carbon emissions.”

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