The UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey is promoting water-source heat pumps as a mechanism to heat homes. The low-energy and carbon-free devices extract thermal energy from waterways to heat water for radiators and showers. The operating principle is simple: heat flows spontaneously from a warm place to a colder one.
Davey has identified more than 4,041 rivers, estuaries, coastal sites and canals containing water warm and accessible enough to heat homes, reports The Independent. One million homes situated new these water courses could benefit. Prime examples include buildings around the River Ouse in Selby, the River Trent in Nottingham and the Thames in London.
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Water-source heat pumps people living in prime areas a way to reduce domestic heating bills by switching to an energy source that is both clean and renewable. The development is part of a wider shift towards a distributed energy system, drawing on an ever greater diversity of supplies.
"Water source heat pumps will help contribute to an energy mix that maximises clean, reliable home-grown resources rather than relying on foreign fossil fuels", says Davey. "It also provides a system that bolsters growth in our local economies, protects the natural environment and creates resilient communities that are capable of producing sustainable power systems.”
The Independent (2015, March 25) A million homes to be heated by river water energy