A new report by the UK’s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) concludes that eliminating carbon emissions from UK homes is more cost-effective than making deeper cuts in other sectors, but the next decade will be critical in preparing for the transition and rapid implementation of measures that will be needed by 2025. Nonetheless, by 2050 there will need to be 26 million low carbon installations in homes – equivalent to 20,000 a week from 2025.
According to the report, Decarbonising Heat for UK Homes, two main potential pathways towards cutting carbon emissions from the 26 million homes needing low carbon installations by 2050 have been identified – local area schemes delivering low carbon heat through heat networks, along with individual home systems using electricity for heating.
To deliver upon this, a system-level framework to package known, but under-developed, technologies into integrated solutions is required, the ETI concludes. Among its observations the ETI says that low carbon heating systems will introduce the need for new heat production and network assets, along with significant electricity network reinforcement, whilst the use of local gas distribution networks will be reduced.
Jeff Douglas, the ETI’s Strategy Manager in its Smart System and Heat team, said: ‘Around 20% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from domestic heating and eliminating CO2 from buildings is more cost-effective than deeper cuts in other sectors such as transport. This effectively means finding long-term alternatives to natural gas heating systems.’