Don’t throw money for heat decarbonisation out of the window. A combination of low-carbon heating technologies and energy efficiency improvements is the obvious answer to decarbonise heating, says Jan Rosenow, Director of European programmes with the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)Experts agree that without energy efficiency, the total cost of decarbonising heating will skyrocket. Numerous studies have been conducted on the ideal technology mix for decarbonising heat, and most (if not all) of them agree that, without energy efficiency, the total cost of decarbonising heat will skyrocket. A report published in April 2019 by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on the critical role of buildings for the clean energy transition demonstrates both the significant challenges and potential solutions for decarbonising the built environment, in particular as regards heat. It identifies three key strategies as potential responses. First, sufficiency by avoiding unnecessary energy demand and technology investment by planning, building design and energy technology measures that address the underlying need for energy use without reducing (or possibly improving) service levels in buildings. Second, radical advances in energy efficiency through building fabric improvements and efficient appliances. Third, decarbonisation by replacing carbon-intensive technologies with high-performance, low-carbon solutions. Energy efficiency is a necessary condition for successful heat decarbonisation. It remains a mystery to me why it would be easier to electrify millions of heating systems or to convert the gas grid to hydrogen rather than install cost-effective energy efficiency measures.
Foresight Climate & Energy 15th April 2019 read more »