Carbon content tracker launches for heating technologies

A service that tracks the carbon content of heating technologies has been launched in the UK.

Geo-exchange heating provider Erda Energy’s analysis, updated weekly, combines live data from the company’s own system, live grid carbon data from utility Elexon, and research by the Carbon Trust and Northern Gas Networks.

“Though calculating the carbon content of power generation is relatively straightforward, it is far more difficult for heat,” Erda Energy said in a statement. “There is no ‘National Grid for Gas’ and neither total demand nor supply can be accurately measured. Gas demand is often taken as a proxy. Efficiency of devices varies widely, making it difficult to ascribe accurate carbon values.”à‚ 

A recent analysis estimated the carbon intensities of the UK’s major current and future sources of heat for gas boilers (195.7-248.6 g CO2 per KWh of heat delivered), combined heat and power (CHP) (221.2 g CO2 emitted per kWh) and hydrogen (91.3-100.9 g CO2/kWh). The company also measured its own electric geo-exchange heating technology at 43.3 g CO2/kWh.

Kevin Stickney, Erda Energy’s managing director, said: “The current low/no-carbon heating debate centres on the hydrogen versus electrification question. It’s an important debate but so far one that has precious little hard data behind it.

“It’s not easy to do, but this new service is our contribution to a transparent conversation. The simple fact of the matter is, we have existing electric technologies today that offer a credible path to zero-carbon and we can’t afford to wait.”

Live data is posted on Erda Energy’s Twitter feed.

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