The future for zero carbon electricity is replacing natural gas as the energy source for space and water heating (06/12/2007)
Energy emissions and global warming have been making headline news this year and Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently announced the Climate Change Bill, committing the UK to reducing its carbon-dioxide emissions by 60% by 2050, making it the first country to put legally binding carbon emission reduction targets in place.
The British Prime Minister has reinforced his commitment to renewable power generation, stating in his comments on the government’s climate action plan that Britain is “absolutely committed to meeting our share” of the EU’s 2020 renewable energy target. The sizeable investment in renewable energy technologies, including wind power, biomass and hydro-electric, amongst other measures will ensure Britain will establish itself as a “world leader” in the production of low carbon electricity.
The reality of an all-electric future for heating has taken a major step forward with a series of reports and initiatives that predict the future for zero carbon electricity replacing natural gas as the energy source for space and water heating.
As the pressure grows to reduce carbon emissions targets to tighter deadlines the knock-on effect is accelerated growth for renewable heat technologies, such as heat pumps and solar water heating, as well as electric heating powered by low carbon electricity, claims Dimplex.
“The Government’s firm commitment to reducing the UK’s CO2 emissions and the increasing support for the decarbonisation of electricity generation play a key part in this encouraging news for the electric heating industry” says Chris Davis, head of renewables at Dimplex.
“According to Defra figures, 47% of the UK’s carbon emissions are generated by heating and 19% by electricity. So by achieving zero carbon electricity and electricity replacing natural gas as the energy source for space and water heating, it’s not hard to see that the figures add up in a big way,” he adds.
This view is re-enforced by the ‘80% Challenge’ report from the Institute of Public Policy Research (ippr), WWF and RSPB which calls for a more “aggressive focus on energy efficiency”, stating that “abatement of emissions from the electricity sector play a central role [in reducing the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions], …. with zero carbon heating replacing natural gas as the energy source for space and water heating.”
“As the generation of electricity decarbonises, there will be instant benefits,” explains Chris Davis. “For example the four million homes which are off the gas network and primarily heated by electric will automatically become low carbon.”