As a country, we spend £32 billion a year on heating. It accounts for around a third of our greenhouse gas emissions. Without changing the way we produce and consume heat, we will not meet our long-term climate change target. To get there, we are going to have to change the way we generate, distribute and use heat in buildings and industry. And we are going to need those changes to take place in an orderly, cost-effective way that ensures a vibrant low carbon economy and a supply of affordable energy for all consumers.
Last year The Future of Heating: A strategic framework for low carbon heat in the UK set out for the first time a framework for ensuring there is affordable, secure and low carbon heating up to 2050.
The Future of Heating: Meeting the challenge sets out specific actions to help deliver low carbon heating across the UK in the decades to come. It focuses on four different aspects of the heat challenge – industrial heat, networked heat, heat in buildings, and grids and infrastructure.
Chapter 1: Efficient low carbon heat in industry provides details on the current state of industrial heat usage in the UK and the contribution of CHP to reducing that heat usage. It outlines a number of areas for further work, including developing sector-specific roadmaps to 2050 for the most heat intensive industrial sectors.
Chapter 2: Heat networks explores the barriers to developing new heat networks and outlines initial steps for making progress in overcoming those barriers. This includes establishing a Heat Networks Development Unit and providing funding to local authorities to assist with early-stage project development costs.
Chapter 3: Heat and cooling for buildings looks at the range of heating issues affecting domestic and non-domestic buildings including what determines their heat usage, the various heating technologies available now and what economic modelling suggests will affect heating choices in the future. It also provides an update on the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme and confirms extension of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme.
Chapter 4: Grids and infrastructure considers long-term options for the gas grid, including the injection of bio-methane and the potential of hydrogen. It considers the investment in the electricity grid needed to meet greater electrification of heat in the future, along with the role that heat storage could play in helping to balance supply with demand.
The government is also publishing research and analysis that have supported the development of this heat policy publication. The Evidence Annex summarises a range of this work; and some items are also published as separate reports.