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Satellite Project to Boost UK Renewable Adoption

  • Publish Date: Posted 11 months ago
  • Author: Steve Walia

​An innovative new project is being developed that will see a spacecraft map the UK's buildings and assess their heat signature - identifying those which are currently inefficient and which would benefit from renewable energy measures and insulation retrofitting.


The British-developed satellite is called HotSat-1 and it will be operated by Satellite Vu, a London-based start-up. It will use an infrared sensor that has been developed with funding support from space agencies in the UK and Europe.


The satellite has now been launched from its base in California and it will now fly at an altitude of 311 miles, with the ability to see individual walls and rooftops and to map them into a heat map.


The UK has some of Europe's most inefficient property stock, as most homes were built before the 1970s. If these properties could be retrofitted with better insulation, they would save householders money on their bills and help Britain to become carbon neutral by the 2050 goal.


CEO Anthony Baker explained that grant money was in place to boost insulation, but utilities and councils were unsure as to how to best use and apply it. By providing satellite imagery, decision-makers will instantly be able to see the most inefficient 20% of UK buildings in an instant.


After the upgrades are done, the satellite will be able to assess how well the work was done. The plan is for the company to fly eight heat-seeking satellites in a 'sky thermometer installation'.


Already, users have committed £100 million of funding to make use of the thermal data in a range of ways, spanning building, insurance, financial services and even the military. It will also be able to flag up heat hotspots to improve town planning and tree planting.