Government Reveals Heat Industry Innovation Fund Award Winners

Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey has revealed the winners of a government competition to encourage innovation in the heat industrylower energy bills and reduce carbon emissions in the UK.

The 17 winning entries from across the country were unveiled at the Association for Decentralised Energy's parliamentary reception on 20 January. Among the winning ideas competing for a share of a £7 million fund were an Exeter-based project that combines solar and wind pump technology, a cloud-based energy consumption monitoring hub and a scheme from West Cumbria which is trialling super insulated pipes.

A total of 57 applications were received and were reviewed by a panel of heat network development experts. Bids were assessed against a range of criteria including technical feasibility, commercial viability, future carbon saving and social benefits.

The winners will share a prize pool of £1 million in order to carry out feasibility studies. Ten of the best projects will then bid for a share of £6 million in order to fully implement their ideas.

Davey said: "This competition is all about supporting innovation and progress in the heat industry so we can heat more homes across the UK for less, while at the same time improving energy efficiency and cutting the UK's carbon emissions."

The competition hasn't just been created to stimulate innovation in heat network technologies and help the UK get closer to achieving its target of generating 14% of heat demand through heat networks by 2030 and over 40% by 2050. It is also hoped that it will provide an opportunity to create new jobs and encourage growth in the sector.