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Aecom to undertake research to boost geothermal potential

The Energy Technology Institute (ETI) has announced that it has appointed Aecom to lead a project to identify solutions to deliver district heating in the UK, which is currently a major barrier to wider use of geothermal energy.

The 12 month Heat Infrastructure Development project “will seek to identify the innovative solutions needed to deliver major reductions in the capital cost of heat network infrastructure and accelerate its deployment.”

ETI has said that the study will examine the technical, process and system developments needed to deliver a step change reduction in the capital costs, along with cost estimates and time frames for undertaking these developments.

“Heat accounts for more than 40% of the UK’s total energy demand and heating the UK’s buildings contributes roughly 20% of overall UK CO2 emissions,” said ETI project manager for energy storage and distribution Nick Eraut.

“Although developing heat networks could reduce these emissions, installing them in the UK is currently time consuming, labour intensive, disruptive and expensive.

“This project will identify and assess innovative solutions to reduce the capital and total lifetime costs of heat network pipes and their installation.

“Improved methods and technologies for heat network installation could help enable a transition to a flexible, cost-effective, long term heat supply.”

The project outputs will be used to inform government and industry stakeholders about opportunities for heat network cost reduction to help steer investment in heat network developments.

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