Scheme to pipe ‘waste heat’ from tube into hundreds of Islington homes and businesses

The sweltering temperatures on the tube’s Northern line will soon begin keeping homes in Islington, north London, cosy through the colder months, under a scheme to harness the heat from the underground.

By the end of the year the project will pipe heat from the underground into hundreds of homes and businesses that are part of a heating scheme in the borough.

The project is one of a growing number of schemes across the UK designed to warm homes using “waste heat” from factories, power plants, rivers and disused mine shafts.

The hunt for alternative sources of renewable heat has gained pace after the government’s pledge to ban gas-fired boilers from new-build homes from 2025.

The Islington heat network already keeps about 700 homes warm by channelling heat created in the Bunhill Energy Centre, which generates electricity, into local council housing, schools and a leisure centre.

The next phase of the project, which is due to be completed in the coming months, will extend the network to a further 450 homes.

The tube project could pave the way for district heating schemes across the capital to warm homes with cheap, low carbon heat from underground lines.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) estimates there is enough heat wasted in London to meet 38% of the city’s heating demands.

Read more: The Guardian