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UK launches Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, targets heat networks

Highlights

GBP30 million phase 1 funds, GBP289 million in all

GBP25 million for heat networks, geothermal focus

Heat pump pilot program or domestic homes

London — The UK government is to provide GBP30 million ($37 million) phase one funding for an Industrial Energy Transformation Fund supporting energy intensive manufacturers, like car factories and steel plants, to cut their carbon footprint, energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said June 29.

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Worth an eventual GBP289 million in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to 2024, the IETF is to help bring down costs of technologies that reduce energy consumption and emissions in heavy industrial processes.

First phase funding of the EITF is part of a GBP80 million package of state investment to help cut carbon emissions from homes and energy intensive businesses.

"Phase 1 of the IETF... allows companies with high energy use to apply for grants to install technology that reduces their energy bills and cuts carbon emissions," Kwarteng said.

Elsewhere, GBP25 million has been assigned to heat networks, which reduce carbon and cut heating bills for customers, including one in Gateshead which will harness geothermal water sitting in disused mines to heat 1,250 homes.

"With thousands of redundant mine shafts criss-crossing the country, experts say that if the mine shaft technology proves successful and economically viable, it could be scaled up to power around 6 million homes around Britain," Kwarteng said.

Completing the package, some GBP24 million has been made available for projects to help develop energy efficient homes by installing green technology and insulation in houses.

Of this, GBP14.6 million is to be spent on a pilot project rolling out heat pumps to 750 homes in the southeast of Scotland, the southeast of England and Newcastle, and GBP7.7 million on energy efficiency retrofits to council houses, with pilot projects in Cornwall, Nottingham and Sutton.

"This new GBP80 million investment will help to reduce emissions across our economy, which will save people money on energy bills and protect jobs in heavy industry," Kwarteng said.

The UK has a legally binding target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.