Friday 28 August 2020

Heat pumps are ‘key to London’s ambitions to go net zero’

Heat pumps are ‘key to London’s ambitions to go net zero’

Heat pumps are key to London’s ambitions to go net zero.

That's the conclusion reached in a new report from the Carbon Trust, commissioned by the Mayor of London. It suggests the technology will play a "critical role" in tackling the capital city's "biggest challenge to achieving net zero emissions" - the heat sector.

It notes currently, natural gas accounts for 37% of all greenhouse gas emissions in London and is mainly used for heating buildings and water - to reach the Mayor’s 2030 net zero target, the Carbon Trust says London must rapidly transition to low carbon heat solutions.

The report states the majority of these solutions will need to be retrofitted into existing buildings, because more than 80% of buildings are expected to still be in use by 2050.

It says heat pump systems have the potential to deliver "immediate carbon emission savings" of up to 70% compared to conventional electric heating and of up to 65% when compared to efficient gas boilers, rising to 100% as the grid continues in the run-up to 2050.

The study says buildings should also be retrofitted with improved thermal energy efficiency upgrades to maximise the positive effects of heat pumps and emphasises the demand side response and flexibility capabilities unlocked by heat pumps is "hugely beneficial" to the financial case for their installation.

Admitting that many types of structures will need further financial support before they can transition from gas boilers, the Carbon trust highlights that some building types, such as electrically-heated blocks of flats and buildings already have strong financial cases for heat pumps and should be prioritised for retrofit.

Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Greater London Authority, said: "Retrofitting heat pumps and improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings are key to achieving the Mayor’s ambitious target for London to reach net zero carbon by 2030.

"Not only will retrofitting heat pumps help support jobs and skills vital to a green, fair and prosperous COVID-recovery, they also reduce energy bills if designed well. However, delivering this at the scale needed will require the Government to step up investment and implement strong supportive policies.”

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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