NFU Energy and District Eating are announcing their part in Innovate UK funded project which aims to reduce CO2 emissions by enabling growers to access stable and lower-cost heat.
The project will run for 14 months and assess the economic, environmental, and social opportunities associated with using sources of waste heat and carbon dioxide for protected horticulture in England.
Of 60 UK energy-from-waste plants, only 10 reportedly use heat successfully. Recoverable waste heat from the UK industry reportedly could supply 14% of UK domestic heating (estimated to be 10-50 TWh/yr). Using this waste heat in protected horticulture for UK food production could reduce CO2 emissions associated with its production by at least 70%, without including CO2 savings from reduced imports and transport supply chain emissions.
This study aims to improve productivity and reduce carbon emissions associated with industrial production whilst showcasing the opportunities that can be made from waste resources. Using these waste resources to grow food also could have sustainability benefits, increasing food security in the UK and taking pressures off countries already seeing the effects of climate change, which are relied on for imports. By providing longevity in a heat source, away from direct energy markets, this project aims also to improve resilience for both growers and sites with industrial waste heat.
District Eating develops low-carbon horticulture projects using waste heat and CO2. The team is made of a diverse range of engineers and sustainability specialists who aim to reduce environmental and transportation costs whilst improving food security in the UK. District Eating also aim to incorporate community benefit into their projects with training, apprenticeships, and social prescribing.
District Eating’s role in the project is to
- Identify and contact potential sources of waste heat in England, to generate interest in the Innovate UK project.
- Explain the benefits of co-locating horticulture with sources of waste heat, and the opportunities it can deliver to sources of waste heat (financial, environmental, reputational).
- Model the potential economic, environmental, and social benefits of waste heat recovery.
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