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District heating system hotting up in Leicester, UK

CITyFiED Community of Interest member, Leicester is set to receive a share of £2.8milllion of government money set aside to help the UK expand its green heat networks.

The city council is one of 38 local authorities to have won a share of the latest tranche of Department of Energy and Climate Change funding. The city’s successful bid for £80,400 will pay for feasibility studies, which could be the first step to extending Leicester’s existing district heating network into three more areas of the city.

The outcome of the studies will help determine whether the council will make a bid for capital funding from the Government’s Heat Network Delivery Unit to expand its existing district heating network.

The Leicester District Energy Scheme already comprises a 7km city centre network, with three smaller networks covering an additional 7km in outlying areas. It provides energy-efficient heat to 2,800 homes, along with council offices, schools, De Montfort Hall and the University of Leicester. It was the largest of its kind in the UK to be installed in one phase.

Through its use of combined heat and power plants, the scheme has helped reduce citywide carbon emissions by over 7,000 tonnes per annum.

Nationally in the United Kingdom, district heating networks are expected to provide 50 gigawatts of heat energy – equivalent to about 40 per cent of the UK’s heating needs – by 2050.

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29 September 2016