This timely conference will assess the future for heat networks in the UK and priorities for supporting growth in the sector - looking in particular at investment, policy and regulation, and next steps for innovation in technology and infrastructure.
The seminar will be an opportunity to consider the Government response to the Competition and Markets Authority heat networks market study and proposals for developing a market framework for heat networks - looking at investment, priorities for decarbonisation, consumer protection and integration with policy in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Following the Government’s overview of current evidence on heat decarbonisation, delegates will also consider the range of options it identifies in alternative fuels and technology - including the potential of electricity, hydrogen and bioenergy, and requirements in infrastructure, demand management, and network flexibility and storage - and what role these might play for policy design and expanding low carbon heating.
The agenda examines financial and funding priorities, with discussion on investment, fostering growth and delivering value for money.
Delegates will assess the impact of policy on sector confidence, including on encouraging investment in innovation, technology and infrastructure, accelerating the creation and extension of heat networks to better meet domestic and industrial demand, and providing greater clarity on decarbonisation goals for heat supply in the context of commitments in the Fifth Carbon Budget.
They will discuss the £320m Heat Network Investment Project as the Government prepares to choose the first round of successful bidders.
We also expect views on how the sector will be affected by the £315m Industrial Energy Transformation Fund and the Business Energy Efficiency Scheme - both announced in the 2018 Budget, as well potential funding awarded as part of the £18m Industrial Heat Recovery Support Programme - which aim to support low carbon transitions and energy efficiency improvements for businesses and industry, and help reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions.
Attendees will consider how to improve consumer engagement, as well as new build standards, heat supplier accountability and lessons learnt from voluntary standards.
The agenda examines how recommendations for regulatory frameworks might address consumer protection standards, improving transparency, and protecting customers from poorly designed infrastructure, as well as the challenges for implementation.
Attendees will weigh up potential frameworks for regulatory design and delivery, including in the area of planning law - as well as the possibility of new duties and obligations for key sector participants, such as property developers and heat system operators.
Further sessions will bring out latest thinking on innovation and growth, looking at new opportunities for heat networks and heat supply in the UK.
Sessions look at advances in heat technology and its impact on decarbonisation, in areas such as heat recycling and advancing material efficiency.
We also expect discussion on the integration of heat network systems and infrastructure, and the challenges for implementing projects in urban environments, including old housing stock as well as system maintenance issues and the collaboration needed between industry and local authorities.