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Name
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TitleDecarbonisation of Heat
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The situation

Electricity and heat generation accounted for 42% of global CO2 emissions in 2014.

KEY CO2 Emissions tends: Excerpt from CO2 emissions from Fuel Combustion (2016 edition) IEA 2017. Fig 10., Page 7.

 

This chart, from the Global CCS Institute, shows energy consumption in Europe.

 

This figure, also from the Global CCS Institute, shows the distribution of heat by use types in the EU

Insights, initiatives and policies aimed at heat decarbonisation

International

UKERC Best practice in heat decarbonisation policy: A review of the international experience of policies to promote the uptake of low-carbon heat supply

Europe

EC An EU Strategy on Heating and Cooling

European Environment Agency.  CO2 intensity of heat and electricity generation.  30 Apr 2012  Last modified 04 Sep 2015  The EU’s current energy system remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels. Nearly 80% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-27 are caused by energy production (i.e. electricity and heat, refining), energy use by the industry, services and households, and transport. Carbon dioxide emissions, while not the most potent greenhouse gas, account for a significant share of the greenhouse gas effect. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions of the electricity and heat generation remains an important objective for climate change mitigation efforts.

United Kingdom

Domestic heating

Heating homes and other buildings in the UK accounts for nearly half of all energy consumed and one third of total greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of around £32 billion.

Richard Howard and Zoe Bengherbi. Too hot to handle? How to decabonise domestic heating Policy Exchange. 2 September 2016

Energies Technologies Institute. Smart systems and heat: Creating future-proof and economic local heating solutions for the UK video. Decarbonising domestic heat is one of the more cost effective ways to tackle emissions in the UK but an integrated systems approach is needed say the ETI.

Jeff Douglas. Decarbonising heat for UK homes“Around 20% of the nation’s carbon emissions are generated by domestic heating. Analysis of the many ways the energy system might be adapted to meet carbon targets shows that the elimination of emissions from buildings is more cost effective than deeper cuts in other energy sectors such as transport. This effectively means that alternatives need to be found for domestic natural gas heating systems. Enhanced construction standards are ensuring that new buildings are increasingly energy efficient, but the legacy building stock, of around 26 million homes, has relatively poor thermal performance and over 90% are expected to still be in use in 2050. Even if building replacement was seen as desirable, the cost is unaffordable, and the carbon emissions associated with the construction would be considerable.”

Dr Keith MacLean et al. Managing heat system decarbonisation: comparing the impacts and costs of transitions in heat infrastructure. Imperial College Centre for Energy Policy and Technology.

Michael Joos and Kinga Niemczyk. Decarbonising heatEnergy World July/August 2017 pp 32-33.

Industrial Decarbonisation and Energy Efficiency Roadmaps to 2050

In 2013, the Government committed to working with industry to develop long-term decarbonisation and energy efficiency roadmaps with industrial sectors, focusing on those that use the greatest amount of heat and represent the greatest greenhouse gas emissions. The resulting project focused on eight sectors. Each of the eight sector-specific reports explains the specific features of that industry, how the processes work and what fuels they currently use.

The full report can be found here.

Together with each sector report, there is a set of appendices giving details on methodology, social and business findings, technology options and additional pathways.

The sectors, with links to the relevant pages in the roadmap and links to the appendices, are:

Cement 
Cement appendices


Ceramics

Ceramics appendices


Chemicals
Chemicals appendices

Food and drink
Food and drink appendices

Glass
Glass appendices

Iron and steel
Iron and steel appendices

Oil refining
Oil refining appendices

Pulp and paper
Pulp and paper appendices

In addition to the above sector reports, there is a Cross sector summary. 

Ofgem. Ofgem’s Future Insights paper 2 -The decarbonisation of heat “…outlines the key challenges involved with the decarbonisation of heat. It discusses how decisions might be made and potential consumer and regulatory implications.”

The Renewable Heat Incentive supports biomass boilers, injection of bio-sourced gas into the gas grid, CHP, heat pumps and solar thermal by paying users of these technologies. Uptake has mainly been for biomass boilers, heat pumps and solar thermal.

Non-Domestic RHI Scheme

Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

Committee on Climate Change. Next Steps for UK Heat Policy 13 October 2016 “Heating and hot water for UK buildings make up 40% of our energy consumption and 20% of our greenhouse gas emissions. It will be necessary to largely eliminate these emissions by around 2050 to meet the targets in the Climate Change Act and to maintain the UK contribution to international action under the Paris Agreement.”

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