In September, actors from the local heat networks supply chain in Greater Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent met and presented to new entrants the opportunities emerging in relation to heat networks.
What was previously only discussions about developing heat networks is now much more concrete compared to just one year ago. In a seminar in Manchester in September 2017, the regional and local authorities of Greater Manchester Combined Authority, GMCA, and Stoke-on-Trent together with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, BEIS, presented their intentions and ambitions to deploy heat networks in their respective cities. GMCA and Stoke’s commitment combined with the support from the central government is evident. The two authorities are currently procuring a hand-full of projects and there are plenty of new developments in the pipeline.
During the seminar, BEIS declared that they want to open up the market more for private operators and investors to accelerate the deployment and reduce costs of new schemes, which in turn will offer new opportunities within the UK heat networks market. Peter Dahl, from the Swedish organisation Sinfra, who were presenting at the event, said that the imminent feeling is that the discussions have shifted from “That sounds interesting, how do we do this?” to “Let’s get down to business!” Of course, developing a project takes time, but development seems to have moved more from strategy to operations and to questions of an increasingly practical nature, Dahl explained.
In 2016, there were tenders issued for a value of approximately £340 million in the United Kingdom, which is a large increase from the £136 million issued in 2015. Over the course of the next 5 years, the heat networks market is expected to be worth a total of £5 billion, which marks a predicted shift in the market. For example, Stoke-on-Trent recently put their first pipe in the ground for their pioneering heat networks scheme worth £52 million and in Greater Manchester alone, there are 10 projects currently in the pipeline, with five approaching business case/commercialisation. One of the larger developments in Manchester is the Civic Quarter heat network project, which is expected to start construction in March 2018 and aims at being the first modern heat network in Manchester acting as catalyst for others.
There was also large number of Swedish suppliers and Energy Service Companies, ESCOs from Sweden present at the seminar in Manchester to take the temperature of the market and to engage with local stakeholders. The British are right to engage at an early stage with their more experienced peers from Sweden and Denmark. Both Sweden and Denmark have more than 50 per cent of their heat supplied from heat networks and the Swedish and Danish supply chain and consultants have an expertise and experience valuable to any local authority planning to build heat networks. A few examples of the participating companies from Sweden are ÅF, Alfa Laval, FVB, Mittel, Sweco, SWEP and Wideco.
The participants in the event were representatives from experienced supply chain companies from the Nordic countries with an interest in developing local partnerships, local technology consultants and suppliers interested in working with heat networks, the British Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Greater Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent and Sinfra among others.
Sweden is at the forefront of decentralised heat networks technology. Our aim for “Heat Networks – Sustainability by Sweden” is to facilitate knowledge sharing between British and Swedish stakeholders and develop and encourage environmental and economic best practice.
To find out how we can help you and your organisation, please contact our London-based “Heat Networks” team. We can introduce you to leading consultants, suppliers of technology and services who will be pleased to share know-how of the development of heat network solutions.