Over the next 30 years the UK energy system will need to transition to low-carbon heat. This ERP project is looking at options for low-carbon heat, their trajectory to 2050 and beyond to zero-carbon economy in 2080. An important aspect is the governance and how top-down and bottom-up aspects join up, in terms of:
- Implementation: including retrofit practicalities, supply chain development, logistics for customers and utilities, and user acceptance of technologies.
- Systems Implications: including infrastructure requirements, and primary energy demand.
It focuses primaily on decarbonising domestic and commercial heat and builds on techno-economic analysis of specific heating technologies. The main options for low-carbon heat are broadly classified as:
- Demand reduction
- Insulation and energy efficiency
- Behaviour change
- Low-carbon energy supply
- Decarbonising the gas supply using hydrogen or synthetic methane
- Decarbonisation of District Heating
- Electrification with heat pumps and hybrid systems
- Niche technologies: e.g. biomass & solar thermal
In January 2017 ERP convened an industry workshop to explore the challenges of deploying heat pumps (see project outputs for a note of the meeting).
The project is investigating each option in terms of:
- What is the reach of each option?
- What are the constraints?
- Will different options work together?
Bottom-up – implementation
- What are the practicalities for retrofits and logistics for customers and utilities?
- How quickly can supply chains and skill sets develop?
- What heating appliances and storage are in each home?
- What insulation measures are needed / cost effective?
- How will users respond to and use new technologies?
- How effective will measures be?
Top-down – system implications
- What are the infrastructure requirements?
- How will it affect primary energy demand?
- Are market drivers or intervention needed?
- What are the logistics for households, commercial buildings and utilities?
- What resources are required? How long will it take?
The low-carbon heat project was launched at an event on 11th October 2016 (more information is available on the event page).