A major government project that plans to invest £320 million in heat networks across England and Wales over the next three years in now open for applications.
The Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP), being delivered by Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management, is inviting applicants to bid for a share of the funding.
It aims to increase the number of heat networks being built, deliver carbon savings and help create the conditions necessary for the development of a sustainable market while contributing to the decarbonisation of the UK energy system at the lowest cost to the economy by 2050.
Heat networks provide heating and hot water to households and businesses – by supplying multiple buildings with heat from the same centralised source, heat networks avoid the need for individual boilers or electric heaters in every building.
Funding offered through HNIP seeks to leverage around £1 billion of private sector and other investments to support the commercialisation and construction of heat networks.
A spokesperson from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said: “The UK has led in the decarbonisation of electricity and we are equally committed to tackling heat.
“The Heat Networks Investment Project has created a route to market for innovative energy projects across the country and demonstrates a key objective of the Clean Growth Strategy; to deliver technologies that lower bills, cut carbon and improve the quality of life for communities across the country.”
Pre-applications for the first funding round must be submitted by 6th March, with the full application dealing being 5th April 2019 – only successful pre-application projects will be eligible to submit a full application.
The amount of funding under the first round has not been disclosed – the grants will calculated and allocated on a project-by-project basis.
Heat networks offer a substantial opportunity to assist the UK in achieving a clean and cost-effective transition towards a low carbon economy. In addition to the installation of new infrastructure, heat networks offer an investment opportunity to renew vital infrastructure and support the economic renewal of towns, cities and rural areas. The government says it is committed to developing a self-sustaining heat networks market in the UK that can operate in the long-term without direct government subsidy.
HNIP funds are specifically offered as ‘gap funding’ through a combination of grants and loans and will be offered to eligible projects from April 2019. The scheme will be open for applications for a period of up to three years.
Points to note:
- The distribution of thermal energy at any temperature and using any fluid is eligible under HNIP funding – this includes ambient temperature networks
- Communal heating, where there is a single heat source within a single multi-tenanted property, does not meet this definition and is not eligible under HNIP
- Heat networks supplied by multiple heating and cooling sources are eligible under HNIP