New industry body to support push to deliver up to £50bn of investment in green heat networks
The expanding heat network sector has today launched a new industry body that it hopes will play a key role in delivering a green economic recovery for the UK.
The Heat Networks Industry Council (HNIC) was officially launched today at an online event attended by energy and clean growth minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, bringing together senior executives from Siemens, SSE Heat Networks, Veolia, EDF Energy, EON-UK, Vattenfall, Engie, and others.
The group set out a pledge to support £30-50bn of investment and the creation of up to 35,000 new direct jobs by 2050, if the "right policy frameworks" are put in place.
Kwarteng welcomed the formation of the new group, adding that "heat networks will play a vital role in a future net-zero economy by helping to decarbonise how we heat our buildings while creating new green jobs".
"The government's £270m Green Heat Networks Fund underlines our support for the industry, and we back the new Heat Networks Industry Council to deliver on its ambitions for investment and job creation as part of reaching net zero emissions by 2050," he said.
Dan McGrail, chair of HNIC, said the heat networks industry was poised to "play a big role in helping the UK reach our net zero carbon targets".
"The pandemic has caused a difficult economic situation but, today, our industry is setting out our shared ambition to create investment and jobs, accelerate carbon reduction, deliver consistent and excellent customer experiences and ultimately create smarter, more liveable cities across the country," he said.
The launch saw the publication of a series of goals for the sector, including pledges to deliver universal zero carbon heat networks by 2035, develop the capability necessary for 18 per cent of UK heat demand to be met through heat networks by 2050, and support up to 35,000 new direct jobs in the sector by 2050.
In the UK today there are around 14,000 heat networks, delivering low or zero carbon heat to homes and businesses around the country.
However, the UK heat network sector lags behind several other northern European countries and as such developers are pursuing significant plans for expansion as part of the UK's net zero transition.
The launch comes on the same day as new reports suggested the Treasury is preparing to put low carbon infrastructure and skills at the heart of the government's imminent economic recovery package.
Company invests over £500,000 to extend partnership focused on the development of climate-resilient blackcurrant varieties
Campaign group delivers detailed proposals for how government could ensure recovery delivers 'a fairer, greener and more resilient global economy'
'Decline and fall': Transition away from fossil fuel economy could lead to plummeting valuations for high carbon assets
Carbon Tracker warns 'there is far more risk inherent in the fossil fuel system than is conventionally priced into financial markets' and urges investors to step up efforts to engineer a more orderly transition to clean technologies
Gabrielle Ginér, BT's head of environmental sustainability, discusses the CO2 benefits of digital services and the challenges of shifting to a fully electric vehicle fleet