Heat networks sector unites to chart path for 35k new jobs

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The Heat Networks Industry Council (HeatNIC) has launched a nationwide survey aimed at addressing the pressing need for approximately 35,000 new jobs essential for the expansion of heat networks, which are projected to provide about 20% of the UK’s heat by 2050.

This initiative aligns with the Committee on Climate Change’s assessment that low carbon heat networks will play a critical role in cost-effectively achieving net zero emissions.

Currently, heat networks contribute a modest 2-3% of the UK’s heat supply.

However, to meet the ambitious targets, substantial growth is imperative, with anticipated investment ranging from £60 – £80 billion.

Spearheaded by HeatNIC, the survey seeks to assess the existing skills landscape within the industry comprehensively.

Speaking at the ADE’s annual Heat Network Conference, Charlotte Large, director of strategy and decarbonisation, Bring Energy, a member of HeatNIC’s skills working group said: “Heat networks are expected to grow exponentially, but to develop at the pace required we need the skills, jobs and knowledge to make it happen.

“By having a better understanding of the talent and skills available across the country, we can plan effectively and mobilise a workforce that is able to deliver low carbon heating across towns and cities throughout the UK.”

Toby Powell, Operations Director, Hemiko also a member of HeatNIC’s skills working group added: “We are calling on our colleagues throughout the sector to respond to this survey as it’s imperative that we can fully assess the extent of the current workforce within our industry.

“This isn’t just for those directly involved in constructing heat networks, we want to hear from all organisations participating in the sector – even if this isn’t their main activity.

“This could include local authorities, housing providers, investment companies and owner/operators of campus-based systems such as universities and hospital sites. The list is huge.”

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