Whenever an economist or someone who seeks to make themselves out as being a go-ahead free market type wants to declare their interest in saving the planet from climate change, you can bet your life it will largely involve a call for hefty increases in carbon taxes. And now people are saying that is what we need to get heat pumps installed in the UK. That includes a lot of people who should know better, judging by evidence to the House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee recently. But they are barking up the wrong tree. Sure, price rises affect energy behaviour, of course, but can economists point to any big green technological changes that have largely been promoted by energy tax increases? Advances in wind power, solar pv, energy efficiency in buildings, efficiency in lighting appliances etc have all been achieved almost entirely through carefully targeted regulations and incentives. The same will be true for heat pumps; especially for heat pumps! Heat pumps are partly stymied in the UK because they are manacled by certification and building regulations that were drawn up for gas heating. See more on this at 100percentrenewableuk.org/blog. Heat pumps are very successful on the continent for two reasons, only one of which is the fact that prices for domestic gas supplies are much higher relative to electricity on the continent, making heat pumps much more cost-effective.
Dave Toke’s Blog 24th Dec 2020 read more »