Government Minister welcomes the role of 200-year-old canals in the Green Industrial Revolution


The Canal & River Trust charity has hosted Lord Callanan, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, at London’s Docklands, where he heard about how the nation’s former industrial waterways can play a 21st century role in the Green Industrial Revolution.

Lord Callanan visit

In Docklands the Trust’s waterways have recently started providing low-carbon cooling for a global datacentre – in addition to the low carbon energy already supplied to two residential towers and a hotel. Lord Callanan heard about how, using water-sourced heat pumps, the low carbon energy in the Trust’s national network of canals, rivers and docks is enough to support the heating and cooling needs of around 350,000 homes, with 650 megawatts of low carbon energy and a potential saving of over a million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Stuart Mills, chief investment officer at the Canal & River Trust, hosted the visit and commented: “Our canals are famous the world over as the original arteries of the Industrial Revolution and for the boats that still navigate them in the same way today.

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“These historic waterways can, however, also be at the forefront of the new ‘Green Industrial Revolution’, offering huge opportunities to help Government on the challenging journey towards ‘net-zero’ with a wide variety of carbon-friendly initiatives, from urban cooling and ‘green’ energy to sustainable urban drainage and the development of traffic-free transport routes.”

Lord Callanan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, commented: “Changing how we warm and cool homes and workspaces is vital to eradicating our contribution to climate change. The Canal & River Trust is a prime example of how water-sourced heat pumps can offer an effective way of reducing emissions and how the pace of rolling out cutting-edge low-carbon technologies is being accelerated across the UK.”

Global data centre provider, Interxion: A Digital Realty Company, worked with the Canal & River Trust to implement the environmentally friendly solution at its London Docklands data centre – as it continues to move towards its global goal of reducing its scope one and two emissions (direct and indirect company emissions) by 68% by 2030.

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Assad Noori, UK Managing Director at Interxion: A Digital Realty Company, commented: “We are doing our best to play a constructive, proactive role in advancing our objective of delivering sustainable growth for stakeholders, customers, employees and the communities we serve around the world. Our Docklands water cooling project is a key example of this in action. It was a pleasure to host Lord Callanan and the Canal & River Trust at Cloud House, and we look forward to continuing to work with government, as well as organisations like the Canal & River Trust, to build sustainable infrastructure fit to power the UK’s digital economy.”

The Trust is already working with a number or organisations to provide heating and cooling, from data centres and municipal and industrial buildings to a residential district heat network in the East Midlands.

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