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UK plans put large-scale heat pump projects at risk

UK: Star Renewable Energy is backing a campaign calling for a rethink of government plans for low carbon heat, claiming they could end large-scale heat pump projects.

The Pump it Up campaign claims that the policy document – Future support for low carbon heat  – released by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in April, with its concentration on off-grid domestic installations, places large-scale investments at risk.

The group says the decision, which is under consultation until July, places at risk a raft of innovative decarbonisation investments, from clean supermarket cooling to the net zero warming of university campuses to a new, low carbon future for British horticulture. 

The campaign members are said to include companies involved in projects with leading brands including Sainsbury, Greencoat, Anglian Water, and leading schools including Bedales and St George’s College, Weybridge. 

In addition to Glasgow-based Star, the campaign’s founding members are Black Mountain Developments, Erda Energy, Low Carbon Farming, Oasthouse Ventures, ReEnergise, Solid Energy, ThamesWey and Zero Carbon Yorkshire.

Pump it Up claims the policy document raises serious question marks as to whether the country is charting a course to hit its legal target of net zero emissions by 2050.

“We’ve requested a meeting with the secretary of state for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and with cabinet office ministers at the earliest opportunity,” said Dave Pearson, director of Star Renewable Energy. “The effective ban on large heat pumps is a clear error of judgement and would be a major national embarrassment in the run up to COP 26,” he added.

Dave Pearson: “The effective ban on large heat pumps is a clear error of judgement”

“Moreover, we 100% agree that there is a chance to achieve a green recovery after coronavirus. That goal spans the narrow confines of any individual government department and it’s a goal we can help with. The projects we have in our collective pipeline represent billions of pounds of investment, thousands of jobs and impact all corners of the national economy. 

“They also pursue much wider national policy ambitions such as levelling up society and increasing its inherent resilience.  They also deliver cleaner air through NOx-free heating, as well as major carbon dioxide savings. It is nonsensical to remove support for such projects.

“There is a small window for a re-think and we’re urging government to take it,” Pearson concluded.

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