UK heat pump feasibility project gets funding boost


UK Power Networks, the Chinese-owned network operator, announced last week in a press release that 13 of its projects recently received funding from the UK industry regulator, Ofgem.

Jack McKellar, UK Power Networks’ innovation lead for bids and opportunities, told pv magazine that the company received a total of £6.2m ($7.76 million) on Oct. 10, 2023 as part of the latest Strategic Innovation Fund financial allocation. He said one of the projects, which received £500,000 in funding, involves heat pumps in residential dwellings.

The Heat Risers project aims to “accelerate the decarbonisation of multi-occupancy buildings and reduce costs for all, using whole building solutions,” a document provided by UK Power Networks to pv magazine said. The project will be rolled out across London and Greenwich, a borough located southeast of the capital.

UK Power Networks will use the funding to develop the Heat Risers concept, and once completed, the project will compete in the final round of funding for demonstrator scale projects.

According to a UK Power Networks webpage on the Hear Risers project, there will be “energy network innovation” involved, which will include the design of novel network incentives, connection products and services that favoring the uptake of whole-building solutions.

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The webpage said the most common solution for helping property owners decarbonize in the UK is the installation of electric boilers and heat pumps. These technologies are marketed to the owner of private and rented properties when a “whole-building solution” – a lower energy demand per household – could be proposed.  This would “accelerate connections and reduce costs for the energy system and consumer,” the webpage said.

The project aims to help consumers slash their energy bills and deliver “increased flexibility” to the energy market, the webpage said.

The UK’s solar PV cumulative capacity was 15,292.8 MW at the end of July, with newly installed capacity for the first seven months of this year reaching 643 MW, recent data published by Great Britain’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) show.

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