Thousands of UK homes to be kept warm by waste heat

Thousands of homes are to be kept warm by waste heat from nearby data centres for the first time in the UK due to a share of nearly £65m of funding for five green heating projects across the country, government has announced.

According to a statement, the Old Oak Park Royal development in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham will be the first of its kind to recycle waste heat from large computer systems storing internet data to supply heating for the local community.

The heat network, backed by £36m in government support, will connect 10,000 new homes and 250,000sq m of commercial space to a low-carbon energy source that will help keep bills low and contribute to the UK’s drive to reach 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.

One of these projects will see Lancaster University fully decarbonise its campus, by receiving over £21m in 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.

Claire Coutinho, energy security secretary, said: “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.”  

Lord Callanan, minister for energy efficiency and green finance, added: “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. 

“The £65m we’ve awarded today will help spread this success across the country, by rolling out innovative low-carbon heating to help to drive down energy bills and deliver our net zero goal.” 


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