The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has published the outcomes from Phase 1 of its Smart Systems and Heat programme, detailing how the UK could decarbonise domestic heat to meet its 2050 climate change targets.
The Journey to Smarter Heat, written by the ETI with support from the Energy Systems Catapult, tackles three interconnected areas: heating needs and controls within the home; heating infrastructure and building retrofit at a local level; and the operation and governance of the whole system.
The report highlights that for the UK to transition to a low carbon heating system it must understand consumer needs and behaviours, while connecting this with the development and integration of technologies and new business models.
Decarbonising heat means supplying homes with something other than natural gas. The report identifies the options available including, electrifying heat in individual homes, connecting neighbourhoods to new district heat networks, repurposing the natural gas grid to transport hydrogen or biogas and improving the fabric efficiencies of homes.
The research also shows that, as part of a low carbon heating system upgrade, advanced controls are critical to performance, sizing and operating costs, enabling smaller appliances and lower peak electricity demands and maximising the efficiency of existing infrastructure. With significant fabric retrofits potentially required in around 10 million of the existing 28 million dwellings in the UK housing stock, the report recommends that building new homes to be both very efficient and “low carbon ready” is a low regret decision, which should be progressed with some urgency.
Download the report here: https://www.eti.co.uk/insights/the-journey-to-smarter-heat