UK heating plan still means 120 gas boilers installed for every low-carbon system. Though the UK is a leader in grid electrification it is a poor performer when it comes to the electrification of heating. In May the UK government proposed a clean heat policy to support the switch away from gas heating for 12,500 homes a year for two years. Jan Rosenow and Samuel Thomas at RAP say that looks like business as usual: for every one new low-carbon heating system, more than 120 gas boilers will be installed as normal. In 2019, 1.7m gas boilers were installed, a rise on 2018. When less than 2% of the UK’s 25m homes have low-carbon heating, change is not coming fast. The authors’ many recommendations include comparisons with other EU nations. The Dutch target for clean heating is 200,000 homes a year between 2018 and 2022. UK electricity bills carry much more of the cost of transition than gas bills: that needs overturning, like in Sweden and Finland. And buildings efficiency hasn’t been taken seriously since 2012. There’s more. The authors’ say UK policies must be much bolder and capitalise on the obvious opportunity presented by the nation’s grid electrification success. For months, we have been waiting for the UK government’s proposal for the future of clean heat policy. After committing to a net-zero carbon target for 2050, the need to take aggressive action now to drive down emissions from heating became clear. Surely the government would announce something bold or step up support for climate-friendly heating technologies? We could not have been more disappointed.
Energy Post 12th June 2020 read more »