Decarbonising heat and transport
In order for the UK to meet its Net Zero obligations, it is essential that we change the way we heat our homes and buildings. According to the Climate Change Committee (CCC), heating currently contributes almost 20% of our total carbon emissions.
There are a range of technologies which can replace gas boilers, including heat pumps, heat networks, biomass boilers, and potentially hydrogen boilers in certain regions. However, many of these technologies, in contrast to other European countries, are in their nascent stages. The Government and CCC anticipate that these technologies will play an increasingly important role in the decade ahead. The Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP found that the development of low-carbon heating technology represents an important growth and export opportunity for UK businesses.
- 98.5% of households in England have central heating, of which 73.8% are heated via mains gas
- The Government estimates that 80% of fossil-fuel heated, off-gas-grid homes are suitable to have a heat pump installed.
- Heat networks could meet up to 20% of heat demand across the UK by 2050, according to Government analysis
- In 2026, the Government will make a strategic decision as to the role that hydrogen will play in domestic home heating .
Energising the heat pump market
Ten recommendations for removing barriers to low-carbon heat
Domestic transport remains the largest emitting sector in the UK, producing 24% of the country’s emissions in 2020, with 91% of these total emissions from road vehicles.
To tackle emissions and improve air quality, Government has banned the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030.
It will also require all new cars and vans to be fully zero emission at the tailpipe from 2035. To prepare for the influx of electric vehicles, charging infrastructure is being installed at pace up and down the country, and with great success:
- The CCC’s target for the UK is that 55 percent of all light-duty vehicles should be battery-powered by 2032
- By the end of 2022, there were over 37,000 public chargepoints across the UK, including nearly double the number of ultra-rapid chargers from 2021
- To bolster such efforts, Government is investing nearly £1 billion to support delivery of 6000 rapid chargers across England’s motorways and A roads by 2035, as well as legislation coming into effect this year mandating 99% reliability across all public chargepoints, with further policy emerging on accessibility, weatherproofing, lighting and signage at such chargepoints.
The majority of EV owners now and in future will have the ability to install domestic chargepoints in their driveway or garage. Government and Industry are working hard to ensure consumers can benefit from smart EV charging technology which will allow them to charge their vehicles when energy is green and cheap.