The Welsh Government has set ambitious targets to operate at close to zero emissions by 2050. With 9% of Welsh emissions coming from buildings, this will certainly require a substantial change in how buildings are heated in the future. Heat networks are expected to be crucial to delivering the Welsh carbon emissions targets and the milestone investment announced today by Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management recognises this.
Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management, the Delivery Partner for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy led Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP), is pleased to announce the first two funding awards in Wales. Heat networks schemes in Bridgend and Cardiff have been awarded just under £8million to support commercialisation and construction.
Heat networks (sometimes referred to as district heating) are a proven, cost-effective way of providing reliable low carbon heat at a fair price to consumers, while supporting local regeneration. They are a distribution system of pipes that take heat from a centralised source and deliver it to a number of different buildings which can easily connect to new, lower carbon heat sources in the future.
Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth Kwasi Kwarteng said:
These projects in Wales will help ensure that low-carbon sources of heating are available across the UK.
“Projects in Bridgend and Cardiff will help connect as many homes and businesses as possible to low-carbon affordable heating - by cutting bills and emissions we can achieve our net zero target in a way that works for residents across the UK.
With 35% of people in Wales living in rural areas, decarbonising heat is a particular challenge. Heat networks offer a suitable for solution for areas with sufficiently high heat density. The Welsh Government has therefore identified Priority Areas for District Heat Networks in 14 towns and cities across Wales, including Bridgend and Cardiff.
Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart said:
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.
Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said:
I am delighted Bridgend and Cardiff have been successful in gaining this funding, which builds on the hard work of the local authorities, with support from Welsh Government’s Smart Living programme and the Energy Systems Catapult to help develop Bridgend’s smart systems and heat strategy.
We have today also announced an interest-free loan of £8.6m to Cardiff Council to support the Cardiff City Heat Network.
These projects are just two of a number we are happy to support through our Welsh Government Energy Service, to make sure homes and businesses have access to clean, affordable heat.
Following a successful HNIP application, Bridgend County Council has received a £1.2 million commercialisation and construction grant for a heat network which will deliver heat to a number of public sector buildings in the town centre. Importantly, the heat network has been designed to enable future expansion to additional properties in the local area, including businesses and residential units. Key objectives of the scheme are to continue to provide reduced energy costs for consumers, provide carbon emissions savings compared to alternative strategies and to further decarbonise heat supplies over time.
Councillor Richard Young who is Cabinet Member for Communities said:
Bridgend County Borough Council is proud to be the first recipient of HNIP funding in Wales. The Bridgend Town Heat Network Project is a key part of our plans to decarbonise heat within Bridgend and forms part of our Smart Energy Plan developed with the support of the Energy Systems Catapult through the Smart System and Heat Programme to drive forward and capture the economic and social benefits of decarbonisation. The HNIP funding will enable us to progress the scheme through its commercialisation phase by first accessing £241,000 funding and, should that phase meet all necessary requirements, then to place Bridgend County Borough Council in a position where it can determine whether to move the project through to, and beyond, construction and accept the further £1m of funding.
Cardiff Council have been successful in receiving a £6.6 million construction grant for the Cardiff Heat Network which will utilise heat from a local Energy from Waste plant. Saving nearly 1,800 tonnes of carbon each year, Phase 1 of the scheme will deliver heat to 11 commercial and public sector buildings with the ability to expand further. The proposed Cardiff Heat Network begins at Trident Park Energy Recovery Facility in Cardiff Bay, spreading across the Bay area before, as part of a later phase, crossing the main Cardiff to London railway line.
Cllr Michael, Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment said:
We’re very pleased to have been awarded an HNIP grant for this important low carbon infrastructure project. The scheme will allow us to capture heat already being produced from Cardiff’s residual waste and use it to deliver a low carbon heat source to large buildings in the Bay.
Buildings that connect to the heat network will have the potential to reduce their carbon emission by around 80% compared to traditional gas heating and so this scheme forms an important part of our response to the Climate Emergency. The grant funding will help to kick start a scheme that can grow and evolve over the long term bringing low carbon energy security to the heart of the Capital city.
A lower proportion of residents in Wales are supplied by heat networks compared to the UK overall. However, there is a substantial unexploited opportunity for this solution, and it is an exciting time for the Welsh heat network market. In addition to Bridgend and Cardiff, there are more Welsh schemes within the BEIS Heat Network Pipeline; 2 projects at funding / tender stage and the remaining 6 receiving active support from the Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU).
The Heat Networks Investment Project is investing £320m of support to individual projects across England and Wales and is open for applications.
Ken Hunnisett, Project Director at Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management said:
We are delighted today to announce the first award of HNIP funding in Wales. One of the aims of HNIP is to deliver affordable and dependable low-carbon heat, and so this is a significant milestone. The investment will enable households, businesses and civic buildings to reduce their carbon emissions both now and in the future as the schemes expand and evolve over time. We look forward to continuing to work with Bridgend and Cardiff. With at least 8 more Welsh schemes in our pipeline we are excited about the future of heat networks in Wales.