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Thursday, 6 September 2007

E.ON UK explores greener community heating options for Kent

Have another dose of news from Powergen who are owned by E-ON

E.ON UK explores greener community heating options for Kent

E.ON UK could be behind one of the first large scale community heating schemes in the UK, with tens of thousands of Kent homes potentially being heated by excess steam from its proposed cleaner coal development.
The company kicked off an initial feasibility study to examine the potential for a district heating project as part of its proposed Kingsnorth development earlier this year, and has now joined forces with local development agencies to take the project forward.

Dr Paul Golby, Chief Executive of E.ON UK, said: "This is yet another example of how we can change the way that we generate, distribute and use energy in the UK.

"And, while it's still early days, our investigations have shown that there is a real opportunity for community heating, particularly given the large residential and commercial developments being undertaken in the next decade as part of projects such as Thames Gateway and Medway Renaissance.

"Technically, we've already built in provision for combined heat and power or district heating in our designs for the new plant and our studies show that we could potentially provide heat to up to 100,000 homes plus associated commercial and public service buildings."

A community heating scheme would remove the need for gas-fired boilers in new homes or businesses, with steam being taken from E.ON's proposed coal units to heat water in a network that would then be piped direct to people's homes to provide heating.

There are currently around 50,000 new homes on the drawing board in Kent. District heating on these properties alone would mean a saving of approximately 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, equivalent to taking around 20,000 cars off the UK's roads.

Agencies involved in the project are Medway Council, SEEDA, Thames Gateway, Kent Thameside and Medway Renaissance, alongside other key stakeholders including DEFRA and the Combined Heat and Power Association (CHPA).

"There are clearly a number of issues that need to be resolved before we could give this project the green light," said Dr Golby.

"Some of them are technical, others non-site specific relating to planning, regulation, markets and policy, but we're keen to explore any option out there in terms of finding additional benefits to our new projects.

"The next step now is to push forward with a more detailed feasibility study to identify a number of considerations that could make this idea a reality."

E.ON is already a market leader in community heating in continental Europe with around 50 district heating schemes in place across Sweden and Denmark.

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