Britain’s biggest system drawing heat from deep rock formations to warm up to 4,000 homes cheaply is one of seven innovative projects receiving government cash today.
The Langarth geothermal network will involve drilling to a depth of 5,275 meters under Cornwall to extract heat from granite rocks beneath the United Downs industrial site.
It is one of seven state-of-the-art geothermal systems that will receive a share of £91 million from the government’s £288 million Green Heat Network Fund.
Heat networks take heat found underground or use excess heat generated through manufacturing or waste management, and supply heating and hot water to homes and businesses through a connected network.
This allows them to ditch fossil-fuel burning gas and oil boilers, which helps cut costs and reduce carbon emissions. The projects will boost the UK’s energy security and independence, with the schemes expected to create hundreds of new, skilled jobs.
Among the seven ground-breaking projects to benefit from the latest round of funding are:
- The development of a heat network in Goole, using excess heat generated by a local manufacturing plant to supply heating to local homes and businesses, creating 40 jobs.
- The expansion of a heat network in East London to heat to two new estates at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, serving around 500 new homes and 250 non-domestic premises.
Lord Callanan, minister for energy efficiency and green finance, said: “These innovative projects will not only benefit the communities they serve, by reducing emissions and providing low-cost heating that helps to drive down energy bills, but also support the nation’s push for greater energy security and independence.
The £288 million Green Heat Network Fund opened in March 2022 to public, private and third sector applicants in England. It will run to 2025, replacing the Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) which closed in January 2022.
Unlike its predecessor, the GHNF will only fund heat network projects where there is a low-carbon heat source.
Announced by the government today, the funding will pave the way for low-carbon technologies like air source heat pumps and geothermal. Ministers hope they can be established as a central source of energy for Britain.