Rise of the green collars

Welcome elaborates on the HNIC’s declaration of intent earlier this month to support massive growth in the heat networks industry and thereby herald a new generation of ‘green collar’ workers to aid the UK’s net zero journey 

By JOSH ELLISON

Hand in glove

Earlier this month, the Heat Networks Industry Council (HNIC) set out industry-wide plans to revitalise heat networks after the economic slowing of lockdown and ensure that they have the best foot forward for the UK’s green recovery.

The industry has pledged to provide from £30-50bn investment capital to spur the growth of heat networks across the UK and, subsequently, the creation of thousands of new green jobs. The plan was met with enthusiasm by government representatives including Minister for Energy and Clean Growth Kwasi Kwarteng who commented on the necessity of this industry in securing a green transition post-COVID-19:

“Heat networks will play a vital role in a future net-zero economy by helping to decarbonise how we heat our buildings while creating new green jobs.”

Intentions to establish city-wide heat network strategies for all UK major cities by 2030 are expected to create up to 35,000 of these jobs over the next thirty years. Additionally, the industry hopes to provide for 18% of the country’s heating needs by the net zero deadline of 2050.

Council Chair, Dan McGrail, welcomed the government’s support in both Minister Krawteng’s endorsement as well as the financial backing that has been promised:

“The government’s £270m Green Heat Networks Fund underlines our support for the industry, and we back the new Heat Networks Industry Council to deliver on its ambitions for investment and job creation as part of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. Our investment will generate jobs and will contribute to a sustainable economic transition in line with the United Kingdom’s net zero targets.”

A likely trajectory

As lockdown eases, and the U.K.’s green recovery gains momentum, there will no doubt be strong impetus behind the proliferation of low carbon and carbon reducing technology. Businesses that have already integrated heat networks into their facilities will already be enjoying their benefits however with their becoming more widespread, system complexity will grow with scale-particularly in the financial context.

Welcome Energy possesses more than three decades of direct experience billing and managing the accounts of communal and district heat networks. As part of the Majestic group, Welcome provides a comprehensive service able to work independently or in support of the fuel procurement services of our partners.