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Antwerp ill use its booming local industry to heat homes

Antwerp will offer citizens heat without emitting a single gram of CO2

Antwerp will offer citizens heat without emitting a single gram of CO2

City authorities just announced that they would develop a central heating grid that will use waste energy from industry and will cover half of the city by 2050

Yesterday, authorities in Antwerp, Belgium, announced they would start working on a new city-wide central heating grid, based on recycled, wasted energy. Until 2030, around 33,000 homes should be connected to the grid, while in 2050, it should cover around half of the city.

In this way, local authorities aim to offer households a sustainable solution to the issue of heating, one that will not emit a single gram of CO2. Instead, the waste heat grid would recycle whatever heat the city already generates from industry and skip on producing energy for home heating altogether.

This development came after a lengthy planning stage for the local administration. One of the key features of the initiative is that expanding the waste heat network will happen only along with other maintenance and development work in the city.

The waste heat grid should cost the local government 500 million euros by 2030, but it holds a promise for weaning Antwerp off of fossil fuel heating systems, which are notoriously prevalent in the region at the moment.

Industrial waste heat – the hot new energy source

As the energy crisis looms over Europe, many cities are trying to step up their game when it comes to generating enough electricity and heat to meet demand over winter. Antwerp’s project is no exception as it follows similar trends of trying to capture as much heat present in the city’s local area as possible and use it.

This is where the city’s big industrial capacity comes into play, as it uses a lot of energy while emitting heat, lost via chimneys. The local authorities’ idea is simple – take that chimney and instead of opening it up to the sky, bring it back to the ground again.

The captured waste heat from both industrial facilities and water filtration would be led into the ground through insulated pipes and then power a constantly expanding district heating system. This would not only save CO2 for businesses, but also for consumers offering a multiplier effect.

Furthermore, according to the Antwerp 2030 Climate Plan, the city should cut up to 71,000 tons of carbon emissions from this initiative alone. Tom Meeuws, Alderman for the Environment, explained that this development would offer homes viable, sustainable solutions right on their doorstep without emitting any additional CO2.

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