Industry leaders call for U-turn on government plans for clean heat

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 Industry leaders working on large heat pump projects across the economy today launch the “Pump it Up” campaign to call for a U-turn on government plans for clean heat.

Policy papers released by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy have sounded the death knell for large-scale heat pumps in the UK and with it a large-scale hole in the country’s plans to clean up its heat supply. As the UK prepares to host COP 26, this raises serious question marks as to whether the country is charting a course to hit its legal target of net zero emissions by 2050.

The effective ban on heat pumps beyond off-grid domestic settings and rare district heat initiatives has been described by the campaign as an impending “energy policy face palm”.

The decision, 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, whose members have been at the forefront of heat pump deployment in all corners of our national economy, speaks for an active pipeline of projects with leading brands including Sainsbury, Greencoat, Anglian Water, and leading schools including Bedales and St. George’s College, Weybridge.

Pump it Up is calling on government to put this investment, employment and scale clean heat back on the table.

Speaking on behalf of the campaign, Dave Pearson, director of Star Renewable Energy, said: “We’ve requested a meeting with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and with Cabinet Office Ministers at the earliest opportunity. 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.

“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.”