Heating is one of the biggest and toughest of carbon problems. It accounts for half of all energy consumption overall. Progress in reducing that is slow. Most heating equipment sold still uses fossil fuels. But the options to cut carbon footprints at home are expanding. Installing photovoltaic panels is an increasingly cost-effective source of low carbon electricity, even in not-very-sunny countries such as Britain. Including carbon emitted during manufacturing, the carbon footprint is about 90g CO2e per kilowatt-hour. In a brighter country with a carbon-intensive electricity supply such as Australia, it might be as little as 5 per cent that of the grid. Using sunlight to directly heat water with the help of solar panels is even more efficient. Heat pumps are a particularly useful option. They multiply the heat per unit of electricity by a factor of up to four. Moving coolant through pipes, using a compressor to change the pressure, absorbs heat from the outside air or ground, later releasing it inside the house.
FT 15th May 2021 read more »