Quest to spread low-carbon energy in Enfield heats up

Major progress being made in development of Energetik’s district heating network, reports James Cracknell

Visitors receive a tour of one of Energetik's energy centres
Visitors receive a tour of one of Energetik’s local heat networks in Enfield

A low-carbon heating network in the borough has won £24million in government funding.

The government’s Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) awarded the money to Energetik to support two major extensions of its community heat network.

It brings the total support provided by HNIP to just under £39m, following an initial grant and loan award of over £14m for the construction of Energetik’s heat network at the Meridian Water housing development.

The additional funding will increase the network’s reach and enable Energetik to supply low-carbon heat to up to 50,000 homes, building on its previous forecast of 15,000 connections by 2026 and making the scheme the largest to be awarded HNIP funding to date.

Earlier this year, concerns were raised by councillors over the amount of borrowing needed to expand Energetik, which is wholly owned by Enfield Council.

The extensions will link together and “significantly decarbonise” all existing heat networks in Enfield, including at Ponders End, Oakwood and Arnos Grove, by connecting them to the upcoming Meridian Water energy centre at Edmonton Eco Park, which is part of the new Edmonton incinerator development, officially called the North London Heat and Power Project (NLHPP).

Energy minister Lord Martin Callanan said: “Changing how we heat homes and workplaces is a vital part of how we will end our contribution to climate change, which is why we’re investing in cutting-edge low-carbon heating technologies to help us meet our bold climate targets.”

Jayne Clare, managing director at Energetik, said: “This funding decision is extremely positive for Enfield and our company. The expansion of our low-carbon heat networks will provide the required infrastructure to unlock untapped potential and deliver maximum carbon savings across the borough.

“This an immense step forward towards achieving Enfield’s carbon goals.”

Energetik was first launched in 2015 and the company states this year it has made “significant progress” on construction of its district heat network and energy centre. When complete, it will capture and use up to 60 megawatts of “otherwise untapped” heat energy.

Clyde Loakes, chair of North London Waste Authority which is developing NLHPP at Edmonton Eco Park, said: “The delivery of one of the UK’s largest district heat networks as part of the North London Heat and Power Project is vital in our efforts to tackle the climate emergency.

“I am thrilled that North London residents will benefit from this significant investment through low-carbon heating and hot water direct to their homes and businesses”.