Have you seen the latest report from Energy UK on pathways to a low-carbon future?
This report contains some strong recommendations on pathways to a low carbon future. There is a big section on heat, because “Heat is the biggest and hardest challenge for decarbonisation at large scale and must be addressed now.” Yes, on that point we can all agree..
We agree on “regulations setting ambitious standards for new buildings will be essential if government is to meet its longer term decarbonisation goals and eliminate the need for future (and avoidable expensive) retrofit.” and we agree on focusing particularly on supporting new low carbon heating solutions in new build properties, delivering sufficient market size for manufacturers to invest in R&D and innovation to drive down the cost. So far so good.
And then we get to page 6…and
Why? because the report recommends the creation a narrative for the consumer to support the take up of low carbon heating technologies.
What is disappointing is that this is still being called for despite the extensive work that that Energy Savings Trust has done which has been supported by BRE.
The capabilities of renewable heating technologies are well established. The electrification of heat must involve heat pumps. They are the most effective technology for converting electricity into heat. Heat pumps need a source, and the most efficient sources are a roof or the ground. Air source heat pumps are less efficient, and there are not enough water sources to support water to water heat pumps.
Clearly there is an issue on the impact on electricity demand, for which the obvious solution is to combine the deployment of these technologies with energy storage. This is how and why we developed the design criteria for the Minus7 hybrid heating solution.
So despite a clear technology landscape, there are still reports like these, still calling for evaluations and narratives, still behind the times and the technology that already exists and is being deployed across the UK.
So we know the technologies.What is simply required is a business model that supports their widespread deployment. We’ve got a few ideas….