Here’s a strange idea I came across this week, one of our homes and businesses heated by water. The idea of buildings heated by water is not so crazy the more you think about it. As we outlined in our book whilst there are plenty of viable alternatives for electricity generation to compete with conventional sources the same is not the same with heat. There are a variety of reasons for this to do with to do with the technology and the retrofitting of it. One of the technologies we talk about is heat pumps. These effectively work like a fridge in reverse i.e. you try to cool the air, ground or in this case water.
According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change one million homes could be heated by water. They have even provided a map of England with mean winter temperatures of various water courses. The advantage of water heat pumps is they are much more efficient compared to air or ground heat pumps and extract much more heat. Whilst Scotland and Wales are not included in the mapping the results would not be very different. This is an idea that really needs district heating systems and is already happening (see picture in Norway above), in Anglesey (Wales) there is a National Trust property heated by water (seawater). So it can be made to work, still disruptive yes, but there are not a great deal of other alternatives.