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UKDEA Media Release

Keeping the bills down and lights on, but what about District Energy, asks the UKDEA

6th December 2012

Simon Woodward, Chairman of the UKDEA said: 'An ambitious piece of low carbon legislation, but oddly the Minister and his officials have given District Energy a back seat'.

The UKDEA welcomes the Government's aspirations published in the Energy Bill. The Bill provides clarification on Electricity Reform and low carbon generation, however, with the majority of the Bill's attention focused on the electricity market, the heating sector has taken a back seat which is rather disappointing; smaller Generators and the District Energy (DE) sector have not been specifically targeted by the Bill. The Department should act swiftly and not lose sight of their commitment to decarbonising the heating network set out in the Heat Strategy back in March 2012.

The lack of a 2030 carbon target not being set out until 2016, has caused some concern. Nonetheless, the Bill has a comforting level of reassurance vis-à-vis the Department's commitment to promote investment in low-carbon sources of power.

The introduction of the Contracts for Difference (CfD), which will replace the Renewable Obligation after March 2017, intend to operate via a fixed price for electricity known as a strike price. During the transition period 2014-2017 project investors will be given a choice to either opt for RO or the CfD, this will bridge the gap between both schemes but industry will remain nervous about the CfD until more details are published. The UKDEA will be responding to the call for evidence on the CfD supplier obligation that was also published Thursday 29th November 2012.

The doubts surrounding CfD are a primary concern of the UKDEA and we will actively engage with DECC to help alleviate and work towards resolving these ambiguities. DECC should take heed of the looming hiatus we could encounter and the suppressing impact it could have on new projects.

This Bill is the centrepiece of the Government's efforts to attract £10bn of investment into the energy sector, but it is rather blatant that the Civil Servants at Whitehall should have joined up the Energy Bill with the objectives in the Heat Strategy, in turn exploiting the full potential of the DE sector.

Nevertheless, one certainty emerging from the Bill is that an appropriate energy mix is encouraged through the Government's support for the renewable sector, whilst gas vociferously supported by Chancellor George Osborne also received coalition backing. The District Energy sector can take a cautious level of reassurance that primary generation feedstocks have the backing and support of central Government, with the rollout of expansions to the RHI scheme underpinning the Department's low carbon commitments.

Ends

Notes to Editors:

The partners, owners and operators of the largest district energy schemes in the UK have aligned themselves in the creation of the UK District Energy Association (UKDEA); with the aim of not only promoting district energy as a means to deliver significant carbon savings, but also to establish a direct link between the Government and the industry's small market base.

The Association is a not for profit, non-trade association of companies and public sector organisations involved or interested in district energy schemes of all sizes, from village scale, community based 'micro district energy' schemes to city wide district heat energy networks.

Still in its infancy, the UKDEA has attracted leading players in the industry, with the UKDEA's full members comprising of twelve major organisations:

  • Birmingham City Council
  • Cofely District Energy Limited
  • ENER-G Switch 2 Limited
  • Enviroenergy Limited
  • E.ON Energy Solutions Limited
  • Leicester City Council
  • Newcastle City Council
  • Newport City Homes Limited
  • Shetland Heat, Energy and Power Limited
  • Southampton City Council
  • Thameswey Limited
  • Veolia Environmental Services Limited

Together, these twelve organisations represent the: Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newport, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, Shetland, Southampton and Woking District Energy schemes, together with a number of schemes in London including Olympic Park and Stratford City, Bloomsbury Heat & Power, Whitehall, Hatfield, Dalston Square, Greenwich Millennium Village, Barbican Arts Centre, Guildhall, Bastion House and London Central Markets.

The UKDEA also has 25 Associate Members, including international members, sharing and contributing information to our district energy knowledge base.

The UKDEA welcomes new members. Be part of our district energy information sharing loop and apply for membership of this forward thinking Association today.

UKDEA Key Facts:

Together the UKDEA members represent:

  • Over 145 MW of low carbon generation plant (CHP, biomass, EFW etc)
  • Supported by over 675 MW of conventional back up boiler plant
  • Delivering over 685,000,000 kWh of heat each year
  • Across energy networks which, if combined, would extend for more than 185 miles

Through Full and Associate membership, the UK District Energy Association's aim is to represent current and potential owners, developers, consumers, partners, operators, product suppliers and interested parties of District Energy schemes throughout the UK.

For more information or membership details contact:

Chris Tanner
Secretary & Administrator for the UKDEA

Thames Head Wharf,
Tetbury Road,
Cirencester,
Gloucestershire,
GL7 6NZ

Office: 01285 770615 Mobile: 07773 457941

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Website: www.ukdea.org.uk