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UK Heating Council head makes case for gas

The UK’s Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) has welcomed the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) recent report titled Next Steps for UK Heat Policy.

The report called for a stronger policy framework and a ‘credible’ new strategy for decarbonizing the nation’s buildings and heat networks by 2050. Deployment of low-carbon heat technologies is recommended as they ‘cannot be left until the 2030s when “low-regret opportunities” such as heat networks, heat pumps and bio-methane injection already exist,’ the report said.

The CCC said the government ‘will need to make a set of decisions in the next Parliament and beyond on the best strategy for decarbonizing buildings on the gas grid. Specifically, it will have to decide on whether there is a role for hydrogen supplied through existing gas networks (extending the useful life of the gas grid infrastructure) alongside other technologies such as heat pumps.’ à‚ 

HHIC Director Stewart Clements (pictured) said the CCC had recognized ‘the importance of the advancements made to the decarbonization of heat and the potential contribution of green gas in helping the UK meets its renewable energy targets’.

And he noted that ‘considerable resources are being invested in the industry on ensuring better and more efficient delivery of gas, particularly in the research and development of “green” or “low carbon” gases. The heating industry has already delivered innovative products such as gas absorption heat pumps (GAHP) and micro-combined heat and power (CHP) units.’

Clements said that green gas offers a viable way forward using the UK’s existing gas infrastructure. ‘The role that gas will play in the energy mix of 2050 depends on several as yet unknowns: commercial developments, policy and regulatory decisions, and technological advances,’ he added.

‘Serious changes are needed, but a “one size fits all” approach to energy supply and efficiency will not work. HHIC believe that it is vital that we have a mix of energy products and sources and are pleased that CCC is looking at all of the options.’