This post is by Jan Rosenow and Samuel Thomas of the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP). It was first published in Utility Week. 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. The proposals finally came out last week. Under the current plans, 12,500 homes a year would receive support for switching to low carbon heating solutions, largely air source heat pumps, in the financial years 2022-23 and 2023-24. Let’s put that into perspective: last year, 1.7 million gas boilers were installed in British homes, up 1.8 per cent from 2018. At that rate, for every one new low carbon heating system, more than a 120 gas boilers will be installed. At the moment, fewer than 500,000 UK homes have some form of low carbon heating, when not counting closed stoves or wood used on open fires. This is not even two per cent. By 2050, the new policy would only support low carbon heat in an additional 1.5 per cent of the existing housing stock. At that rate, it would take more than 1,500 years to install the 19 million heat pumps that the Committee on Climate Change says we will need to meet the net zero emission goals.
Green Alliance Blog 13th May 2020 read more »