Vattenfall plans London heat network

Article by Adam Duckett

VATTENFALL will design a heat network to supply more than 10,000 homes in London, using heat captured from Cory Riverside Energy’s energy-from-waste plant.

Vattenfall says the network in southeast London could reduce carbon emissions from heating homes by 80–90% compared to using conventional gas boilers. The heat network will take heat generated at the 750,000 t/y waste combustion plant and transport it to 10,500 local homes through a network of underground pipes. 

The partners will apply to the Government’s £320m (US$400m) Heat Networks Investment Project to help fund the development. In April, Cory Riverside was granted permission to build a neighbouring energy-from-waste and anaerobic digestion facility that would divert up to 805,000 t/y of non-recyclable waste from landfill. It says this facility could then provide heat to another 10,500 homes.

Vattenfall said its design will introduce a new fourth generation, low temperature district heating network that will use lower temperatures to reduce network heat losses. It also said it wants to create an East London Heat Network extended 30 km across London that, including industry and commercial properties, would supply the equivalent of 75,000 homes though has not given a timescale.

“We can design the system so that future homes and business properties can also be linked up to the same heat network, without needing to go through the disruption and lengthy process of designing a bespoke network for a separate construction project. This is exactly the kind of long-term vision that Vattenfall has for district heating in the UK,” said Adriana Rodriguez Cobas, Vattenfall Director of London and South UK.

The Committee on Climate Change, which provides independent advice to government, estimates that around 18% of UK heat will need to come from heat networks by 2050 if the UK is to meet its carbon targets cost effectively. The statistics office within the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has not yet responded to requests from The Chemical Engineer for information on the proportion of UK heat currently provided by heating networks.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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