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Decarbonisation of Heat

Provision of heat currently contributes around a quarter of all UK greenhouse gas emissions and will take a concerted effort from government, regulator and industry to decarbonise. For the first time ever, the majority of power generation came from low carbon sources in 2017, in contrast only 4.5 per cent of total buildings heat demand came from low carbon heat sources. A holistic approach to decarbonisation will enable the integration of increasingly low carbon power sources into decarbonisation efforts through electrification of heat and transport.

There are a number of low carbon technologies which can be utilised as sources of heat at present, but there is a considerable amount of information lacking on how these technologies can be integrated with each other at a large scale. There is also a significant gap in existing focus on ensuring that the customer experience and consumer costs of decarbonisation are addressed, including existing barriers of cost and availability of low carbon heat solutions.

Within Energy UK, the Decarbonisation of Heat Working Group was established to work with Government in the development of a comprehensive strategy for the decarbonisation of heat. The group is establishing positions which maximise the potential benefits of decarbonisation of heat and make the transition smooth for the consumer and UK Plc.

The group recently produced a paper on kick-starting the decarbonisation of heat, outlining tactical decisions to be made over the next five years. Core recommendations were set out in a briefing to MPs and Lords during the recent debate on amendments to the RHI, resulting in mentions in both houses.

The group works closely with Energy UK’s Energy Efficiency Group to ensure we develop consistent positions and highlight the interdependency of low carbon heat and energy efficiency.

The group’s focus for 2018 will include:

  • Defining the energy industry’s positions on efficient delivery of low carbon heat solutions in line with the fifth carbon budget;
  • Engagement with a range of stakeholders, including the BEIS heat team, Ofgem, the CCC, NEA and others.
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