To remove carbon from gas, which is used in vast quantities across Europe for heating and cooking, is one of the great technical difficulties that must be overcome to save the planet from dangerous overheating. Gas distributed across thousands of miles of pipes has been put forward by oil companies as a necessary interim fuel while governments move away from coal as a power source, replacing it with renewables. But a new report says gas use must also be curtailed, and quickly. Now come claims that work must start immediately to cut carbon emissions from the gas network if targets are to be met to keep carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to acceptable levels. Bright Blue describes itself as “an independent think tank and pressure group for liberal conservatism.” It has published a report, Pressure in the Pipeline, which suggests a number of ways that gas use could be reduced and replaced with alternatives that do not involve pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Although it is endorsed by leading members of the ruling Conservative party, including the minister of state for energy and clean growth, Claire Perry, the report is clear that the government the party supports needs to reform existing legislation and do far more to encourage decarbonising gas if this energy revolution is to happen.
Climate News Network 20th Feb 2019 read more »
Gas boilers and cookers should be banned in new homes within six years to meet Britain’s legally binding emissions targets, the government’s climate change advisory body recommends today. Developers must be forbidden from connecting homes to the gas grid and should instead be forced to install low-carbon heating systems, according to a report by the Committee on Climate Change. The move would mean that newly built homes would not be able to have gas stoves and would need to be fitted with alternatives such as induction hobs. The Home Builders Federation condemned the proposal, saying that it would make houses harder to sell because gas boilers were cheaper and consumers liked them. The low-carbon heating systems, such as air source heat pumps combined with extra insulation, would add up to £5,000 to the cost of a new home and the committee admits they might take longer to warm a room than a gas boiler. However, it says that a ban on gas in new homes “by 2025 at the latest” is essential to cut the 14 per cent of total UK greenhouse emissions caused by household energy use. A federation spokesman said: “Builders need to sell homes and so alternative energy sources have to be attractive to consumers and commercially viable. Gas boiler systems are currently the most attractive option for consumers and so are what builders tend to install, and limitations remain with the alternatives available. It must be ensured that alternatives are suitably attractive, available and efficient before withdrawing existing options.” Chris Stark, the committee’s chief executive, said its research showed that heat pumps, which extract heat from outside air, would be cost-effective for newly built homes from as early as 2021. He said a heat pump might not heat a home as quickly as a gas boi ler but it would be much more efficient and the overall level of comfort would be the same. Mr Stark said he had a gas boiler in his flat in Glasgow, from where he commutes weekly by train to the committee’s offices in London. “[A gas boiler] is one of the things I would very much like to not have but my home is one of the more difficult ones to convert. That doesn’t mean I’m not keen to do it,” he said.
Times 21st Feb 2019 read more »
Gas hobs or boilers should be banned from being installed in new homes within the next six years, government advisers have recommended. A report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says that from 2025 at the latest, no new homes should be connected to the gas grid – with super-efficient houses and flats heated using low-carbon energy instead. It also warns that UK homes are not fit for the future, with efforts to cut greenhouse gases from housing stalling and properties at growing risk of overheating and flooding. The committee called on the government to get serious about tackling emissions from homes and ensuring they are adapted to cope with a future of more extreme weather.
Guardian 21st Feb 2019 read more »