Carbon emissions targets mean nearly all homes need upgrading, according to expert

Jeff Douglas, Strategy Manager, Energy Technology Institute, informed guests of the Birmingham Energy Institute last week (Thursday 2 July) that the UK faces a big energy challenge in light of the country’s ambitious carbon reduction targets.

 Mr Douglas said: 

It is clear that to meet climate change targets we need to largely eliminate carbon emissions from our buildings as part of a least cost transition to a low carbon energy system. With 90% of existing houses expected to still be in use in 2050, new forms of low carbon heating will be needed for almost all of our 26 million homes.

Jeff Douglas, Strategy Manager - Smart Systems and Heat at the Energy Technology Institute, delivered a seminar titled ‘Decarbonising Heat for UK Homes – next steps’, which will examine two principal pathways towards the decarbonisation of domestic space and water heating. The Birmingham Energy Institute at the University of Birmingham hosted the free seminar on Thursday 2 July 2015.

Jeff discussed the challenges the country faces in displacing gas heating in a way that is acceptable to the consumer, and the possible market frameworks and national policies that would support any successful transition.

‘The market cannot be expected to engage in such delivery without the essential foundations of clear strategic direction, effective policy-making and proven business models. We also need to learn by doing, and recognise that the real challenges are not just technology based, but rather more about gaining public consensus and trust.’

‘The importance of preparation cannot be over emphasised as a lack of market confidence and delay in building the necessary momentum will inevitably lead to higher costs driven by harder pressed resources, along with missed targets and business opportunities.’

The Energy Technology Institute is a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies and the UK Government. The Institute acts as a conduit between academia, industry and the government to accelerate the development of low carbon technologies, and bring together engineering projects that develop affordable, secure and sustainable technologies to help the UK address its long term emissions reductions targets as well as delivering nearer term benefit.