Japanese industrial company Daikin has signed a deal with Greater Manchester to deploy heat pumps in some of its public buildings and act as a test bed for the technology.
Daikin – one of the world’s largest air conditioning manufacturers – will provide heat pumps and cooling systems to public buildings including social housing in the city region that will be monitored and tested remotely.
The signing of this UK first agreement will benefit between 800-1000 homes across Greater Manchester over the next two years, from trials of retrofitting measures, low-carbon heating technologies, including air-source heat pumps and wider digital interventions.
Demand for heat pumps – which rely on electricity to transfer heat – has been booming in Europe amid soaring natural gas prices, with consumers in many countries waiting months for heat pump installations.
Manchester, one of the birthplaces of the industrial revolution, plans to become carbon neutral in 2038, 12 years ahead of the UK government target.
Masatsugu Minaka, chairman of the board of Daikin Europe said “Daikin’s aim is to demonstrate and promote technology to achieve carbon neutrality that can be deployed … around the world”
“The two parties’ intentions were aligned and they recognised each other as the most suitable partners, leading to the conclusion of this agreement.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said the partnership with Daikin symbolised the city’s industrial ambitions, “Obviously with that ambition around 2038, we’re a place that’s going to move faster. In doing so that presents opportunities to organisations like Daikin,”
Installations will take place over the next two years, the parties said.
Under the agreement, Daikin will also establish a training programme in Manchester for heating and cooling system skills that are in short supply in Britain.
The deal is part of a wider push by the north of England to attract investment in renewable energy and green tech.
Manchester hopes its universities, known for their strength in science and engineering, will help spur foreign investment.
Heat pumps, sometimes described as reverse air conditioners, use electricity to concentrate heat potential and are comparatively more energy efficient than gas boilers.
Daikin, headquartered in Osaka, last year said it would build a heat pump factory in Poland as part of its expansion plans.