Hundreds of homes and buildings across Cardiff and Bridgend will receive low-carbon energy from new heat network projects thanks to a £8 million boost announced by the UK Government.
The funding will develop a new system of distribution pipes taking excess heat from a central source such as energy generated from waste in Cardiff, and a Combined Heat and Power plant with thermal storage facility in Bridgend.
These sources will then supply heat to public buildings within the town and city centre, and can easily connect to new, lower carbon heat sources in the future.
Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth Kwasi Kwarteng commented: “These projects in Bridgend and Cardiff will help connect as many local homes and businesses as possible to low-carbon affordable heating, helping people save money on energy bills.
“By connecting public buildings up to heat networks, councils and leisure centres can reinvest the money saved on energy bills into frontline services in a way that achieves our goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Heat networks are a proven, cost-effective way of providing reliable low carbon heat at a fair price to consumers.
The new networks in Cardiff and Bridgend will be future-proofed to ensure that businesses and households across South Wales can connect to the system in years to come, helping to provide cheaper and greener energy.
The new projects are part of the UK Government’s Heat Networks Investment Project, a £320 million fund to support the construction of heat networks across England and Wales.
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart added: “Heat networks form an important part of the UK Government’s plan to reduce carbon emissions and cut heating bills for consumers.
This £8 million investment will help heat hundreds of homes and buildings using cheaper, greener energy across Bridgend and Cardiff.
“It also marks another step forward for our ambitious Clean Growth Strategy and moves us closer to our target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”
With 9% of emissions in Wales coming from homes and buildings, the projects in Bridgend and Cardiff will be a further step towards greener heating and lower bills across the UK.
By reusing heat from a local waste plant, those connected to the Cardiff network could reduce their carbon emissions by up to 80%.
This could save 18,000 tonnes of CO2 over the next ten years – the equivalent of planting 7,000 trees.
Both projects will be awarded funding through Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management, the UK Government’s delivery partner who have successfully awarded funding to 18 projects in total as part of the Heat Networks Investment Project.
Ken Hunnisett, Project Director at Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management, commented: “One of the aims of HNIP is to deliver affordable and dependable low-carbon heat, and so the announcement of the first HNIP-funded heat networks in Wales is a significant milestone.
“The projects will deliver significant benefit to both consumers and the environment and will demonstrate the role heat network schemes can play in meeting carbon targets by reducing emissions from buildings.”
At present less than 5% of energy used for heating homes and buildings comes from low-carbon sources.
Increasing the number of homes and businesses on heat networks is an important part of the UK Government’s plans to improve take-up of low-carbon heat as the UK seeks to end its contribution towards climate change entirely by 2050.
Heat networks are one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing carbon emissions from heating, and their efficiency and carbon-saving potential increases as they grow and connect to each other.
The Committee on Climate Change estimates that around 18% of UK heat will need to come from heat networks by 2050 if the UK is to meet its net zero target.