Decarbonised heating is our biggest challenge

BEIS, decarbonised heating, ICOM, IGEM
Karen Wood, BEIS

At the ICOM Spring Conference on 10th April, the focus was on decarbonising the UK’s heating. Conference content reflected the government’s 2017 Clean Growth Strategy, which targets decarbonised heat.

Speakers included representatives of government and industry. Karen Wood, senior policy advisor to BEIS said: “Decarbonising our heat is not easy or straightforward. We need to do a lot of work.”

The challenge of moving the UK away from its reliance on gas was highlighted by Ian McCluskey, head of technical services for the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM).

He said: “Gas provides 80% of total energy demand in the UK at peak times and there are 23.2 million UK gas customers the UK.”

IGEM recognises the need for decarbonisation, but points to the gas grid as a resource that could be re-purposed. “The gas network is highly robust, unlike the electrical network,” commented McCluskey. “Any new technology must meet this service expectation from our customers.”

Government is currently exploring options on how to tackle this challenge, and technologies highlighted for exploration include electrification (heat pumps); district heating; and use of hydrogen or biogas.

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