Cold water could heat one million homes

deccOne million homes could be tapping into clean renewable heat hidden in our waterways.

At least one million homes and businesses across England could be tapping into clean renewable heat hidden in our waterways, a new online tool for communities has revealed.

The online map has revealed the secret energy in over 4,000 rivers, estuaries, canals and coastal sites across the country that together could provide over six gigawatts of low-carbon heat to communities. By installing a water source heat pump, people can help eliminate the need for gas-fired domestic heating and a typical household could slash its carbon footprint by up to 50%.

Launching the new map at Battersea Power Station, in London, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, said: “We need to make the most of the vast amount of clean, renewable heat that lays dormant and unused in our rivers, lakes and seas.

“Doing this will help contribute to an energy mix that maximises clean, reliable home-grown resources rather than relying on foreign fossil fuels. It also provides a system that bolsters growth in our local economies, protects the natural environment, and creates resilient communities that are capable of producing sustainable power systems.

“This is exactly why we’re giving local people, developers and councils the keys they need to unlock the enormous potential of our waterways.”

Battersea Power Station is the latest developer to announce that it will be looking into installing a water source heat pump. Energy company, SSE, has been appointed to carry out a full heat pump feasibility study. The company will also investigate the re-use of existing engineering infrastructure that was built 80 years ago to connect the Power Station to the Thames when it was generating power. If a heat pump is installed at the site, it would be one of the energy sources used to provide heat to around 4000 new homes, shops, offices and public amenities being provided at the Power Station.

Phillip Gullett, chief operating officer at Battersea Power Station, said:

“We are looking at a range of options to deliver the energy required for the homes, shops, restaurants and leisure facilities being created here at Battersea Power Station.

Being located on the banks of the River Thames in central London, we are ideally placed to investigate what role water source technology may play in supplying our energy needs and we are delighted that SSE will be undertaking a feasibility study to establish the options available to us.”

Richard Parry, chief executive of the Canal & River Trust, the charity that cares for 2,000 miles of waterways in England & Wales, said:

“We very much welcome this announcement, which recognises the huge potential of water sourced heat pumps to deliver a low carbon solution to the UK’s heating and cooling demands.

“We have a number of projects already underway, or in development, on our canals and rivers. These are delivering benefits for waterside businesses and the environment and proving again that, 200 years after they were built, the waterways are still bringing a whole range of benefits to the nation.”

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