University granted £21m to fully decarbonise its campus

Prof Simon Guy (Courtesey YouTube)

The Government has awarded £21m to Lancaster University to help it fully decarbonise its campus.

The grant will see the university supplied with low-carbon heating and hot water, from a new air source heat pump.

The technology will be powered by renewable electricity from a new solar farm and an existing wind turbine, offering a low carbon solution for the university’s heat and electricity supply for generations to come.

The university is one of five projects across the country to receive a share of £65m from the Government’s Green Heat Network Fund.

It forms part of the Government’s push to decarbonise the nation’s housing stock by moving buildings away from more costly fossil fuels, such as oil and gas, to a low-carbon, more efficient energy source that helps to keep bills low and supports the country’s drive to net zero by 2050.

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: “I hope other universities can follow Lancaster’s lead by using renewable energy from solar and wind to power this impressive heat network, allowing them to decarbonise their campus.”

Prof Simon Guy, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Global Digital, International, Sustainability at Lancaster University, said: “Lancaster University has a long established reputation for its world leading education and research.

“With this next step, Lancaster aims to be among the best in the world for offering students and staff a sustainable and carbon neutral campus in which to work and study.”

He added: “Our students want to go out into the world to make a difference – what better start to that ambition than a world class university education which is mindful of the planet and places sustainability at the heart of its decision making.”

Lancaster University has placed carbon neutrality at the centre of its estates strategy with a number of initiatives including the university’s ‘Heat Pump Ready Buildings’ programme.

The transition to heat networks forms a major part of the UK’s carbon reduction commitment, with heating in buildings making up 30% of all UK emissions.

Heat networks use heat pumps, heat found underground, or use excess heat generated through manufacturing or waste management, to supply heating and hot water to homes and businesses through a connected network.

The Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF) is a capital grant scheme that opened in March 2022, to public, private and third sector applicants in England and is anticipated to run to 2025.