Parks at heart of heat pump project

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Published: 21 August 2018


air source water heat pump green energy renewables park london hackney
Max Wakefield of 10:10 Climate Action
Parks in London's Hackney could help to generate green energy to heat nearby buildings through a new heat pump project.

Climate change charity 10:10 Climate Action is working with Hackney Council and energy consultants Scene to explore whether ground source and water-based heat pumps in parks and green spaces could be used to generate sustainable energy for heating nearby buildings, offering stable, low risk revenue in the process.
The Powering Parks project could see buildings able to switch from using fossil fuels and save money or generate income for the council. 10:10 Climate Action previously ran an internationally acclaimed Solar Schools project - helping schools boost budgets, build relationships with the community and cut carbon emissions by raising money to install solar panels - and now hopes to see success with parks and heat pumps. A similar scheme is already operating in Edinburgh.

The project is funded by the Rethinking Parks programme from global innovation foundation Nesta. The first phase, which will consider whether the scheme is feasible, is set to get under way later this year. If successful, the project will share learning with other parks authorities to allow them to roll out similar programmes. 

Max Wakefield, lead campaigner at 10:10 Climate Action, said: “While this scorching summer has seen the public flood into the UK’s parks, it’s one of the clearest signs yet that our climate is changing fast. To avoid catastrophic climate change we need to rapidly cut carbon - and that means stopping burning gas and oil to heat our buildings. 

Fantastic opportunity
“Heat pumps are one way to do that - and what’s so exciting about this project is the possibility of tackling climate change and helping protect the green spaces all of us value so much at the same time.”

Deputy Mayor of Hackney, Cllr Feryal Demirci, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to look at ways of making our parks and buildings more sustainable and for us to continue to invest in our beautiful parks and green spaces for our residents to enjoy.”

Alice Casey, Head of New Operating Models at Nesta, said: “Our aim is to help parks innovate to ensure they can sustain and develop as free, open and truly valued community spaces for the future. Parks are wonderful, free public resources, that communities treasure; particularly in urban environments. They support activity, health and wellbeing, as well as play, socialising and connection to nature. Rethinking Parks will demonstrate ways to ensure that our parks will continue to be protected and loved by communities everywhere for generations to come.”