Heat networks represent a significant opportunity to upgrade part of the UK’s energy infrastructure and seize the opportunity for business that new technology presents. They support local growth and regeneration, and generate new revenue streams for UK industry and local authorities. As heat is generated and consumed locally, the benefits of more affordable heat delivered through networks are felt by the communities they serve. Investing in heat networks is an example of how the government’s Industrial Strategy is creating an economy that boosts productivity and earning power throughout the UK.
The Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) is a Government Major Project which will invest £320 million of capital funding in heat network projects through grants and loans. This is provided as ‘gap funding’ to grow the UK heat networks market and deliver the carbon savings required to meet the nation’s future carbon reduction commitments.
Funding offered through HNIP seeks to leverage in around £1 billion of private and other investment, to support the design and construction of heat networks. The government’s investment is expected to kickstart the heat networks market, drive down costs, improve skills and capability, and demonstrate to investors that heat networks are a viable proposition. The overall aim is for the market to thrive without further direct government subsidy post-2021, and to increase the long-term growth rate of the market.