Utilities

The Move To Net Zero In The Heating And Hot Water Sector Is Not Simple

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<p style="text-align: justify;">As an expert on the transition to net zero in the heating and hot water sector, I am a firm &nbsp;believer in decarbonisation.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The discontinuation of using fossil-fuel-burning heating appliances is, however, extremely complex, and unfortunately it will take time (We could say in the same way that Germany will stop purchasing gas from Russia, but this cannot happen overnight).&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">I have just been reading yet another report calling for a total ban on sales of natural gas boilers by 2030. These demands are made without knowledge of the industry and time scales required to make this happen. It seems that some people believe that we can switch to mass electrification simply because we want it to happen.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In order to help understand the enormous task of mass electrification, I have set out in this article the figures, which should help to put these claims into perspective.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>The Move to Net Zero is not Simple When we do the Maths! </strong>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">There are approximately 1,700,000 gas boilers sold in the UK every year.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The UK Government's target is to install 600,000 heat pumps by 2028, and to kick start the move to heat pumps, and they are giving 90,000 grants of up to &pound;6,000 towards the cost, spread over the next three years. This means that 510,000 heat pumps installations will not be able to claim a grant towards the costs!</p><p style="text-align: justify;">My logical conclusion given the high cost of installing a heat pump system is that there will be a slowdown in heat pump installations once the grants are used, particularly when taking into account modifications to the existing building fabric, which can increase the overall cost to as much as &pound;20,000 or more for a GSHP.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Further UK Government plans to increase heat pump installations &nbsp;to 1,000,000 units annually by 2030. Let&rsquo;s say that this ambitious plan of growing from around 60,000 heat pump installations to 1,000,000 installations, in just eight years is achieved, this would still leave the problem of what will replace the remaining 700,000 gas boilers installed per year.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Over the next month, I will be issuing a number of articles on this subject, my next article will be potential ways that can solve the 700,000-unit shortfall, followed by an article on UK housing stock and why retrofitting heat pumps is not the solution for all properties.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/geoff-hobbs-64044021/">Geoff Hobbs</a></em></span></p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Geoff Hobbs</span></h3><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. What is the future of home heating in a net zero UK?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">I believe it will be a mixture of electric heat pumps, hydrogen boilers, Hybrid and new emerging technology.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. How will the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) work?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The BUS scheme covers 90k heat pump installations over three years; the Government target is to install around 500k heat pumps during this period. If government targets are achieved, around 400k installations will not be able to claim a BUS grant.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. How does UK progress compare to the rest of Europe?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The UK currently has just two heat pump installations per 1,000 households which is one of the lowest in Europe, Norway at the top of the list has 42 heat pumps per 1,000 households.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Geoff Hobbs