Headlines: Waste Heat from London Tube Heats Homes

November 20, 2013 – If you have ever walked across an open grate above a subway during cold months you notice how much heat comes from below. Well now what comes from the subway that is wasted can be captured and used to heat homes through a network of underground pipes.

The mayor of London announced this week a partnership between UK Power Networks, Transport for London and the city’s Islington Council district to supply more than 500 homes in the area with green heat from the London Tube. Currently Islington uses the Bunhill Heat and Power network to supply green heat to 700 homes in Islington. The expansion will use a Northern Line vent to pipe heat into the network to expand the number of homes being supplied.

Recycling the heat from the London Tube will help the City reduce its CO2 emissions by as much as 500 tons annually. Its continued success should lead to additional waste heating systems coming onboard throughout London.

The project is part of a European Union initiative called CELSIUS, a partnership involving five European cities developing district heating and cooling systems. London’s plan is to eventually produce 25% of the City’s power requirements through decentralized generating stations and district heating networks rather than from energy derived from the grid. In the process the City expects to reduce its CO2 emissions by 60%.


London Tube


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Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...