Apartments Photo by Brandon Griggs on Unsplash

Decarbonisation of heat

Our Decarbonisation of heat work is focused on what solutions are available and how could they be integrated to decarbonise UK heat.

Heating is one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonise in the UK’s energy system. Technical options have been identified, including electric heating, hydrogen (CCS or electrolytic), biomass and solar thermal, and demand reduction. However, much of the current thinking views the options as being in competition with each other. Less thought has been given to a whole energy systems approach.

Reviewing existing proposals for how heat can be decarbonised

We will undertake a multi-disciplinary systematic review, in partnership with stakeholders, of scenarios on Heat Decarbonisation. The aim is to provide peer-reviews of existing work, a common format for strategies and criteria for their evaluation, scenarios for future heat loads and sources. And engineering analyses of them in the UKTM model.

Analysing and further developing two existing whole energy system models

Improved representation of space and time in energy systems models is to reveal a richer landscape of options than current whole system optimisation modelling. We will review whole system energy models to identify factors relating to heat sub-systems that are not dealt with adequately. We will develop metrics for system flexibility and equity and fuel poverty, and strategies for integrating energy system architectures. We will to provide improved understanding of strengths and weaknesses of the main energy system models, proposals for extending them and tools to support development of economically efficient strategies for decarbonisation of heat.

Evaluating potential social, regulatory and governance implications of findings

We will provide input on potential social, regulatory and policy implications of the main socio-technical options for decarbonised heat. We will review the metrics and social implications of different proposals from previous work and evaluate the implications for market structures and policy.

Banner photo credit: Brandon Griggs on Unsplash

Review of existing modelling proposals for heat decarbonisation

This part of the project reviews the available research on the modelling of heat decarbonisation.

Development of energy system models to improve treatment of energy system architecture

This part of the project looks at how different modelling approaches can be used and developed to assess different decarbonisation of heat architectures.

Evaluation of social, regulatory and governance implications of findings

This part of the project seeks to provide earliest possible feedback on potential social and regulatory implications of proposals for heat from socio-technical and political-economic perspectives.

Decarbonising local transport – help for local authorities

CREDS supported recent work with the Local Government Association (LGA) and DecarboN8 to help local councils in England plan their transport decarbonisation strategies. Seven briefing notes written for the LGA, on subjects from bus use to parking policies to setting achievable carbon goals, are designed to provide guidance, examples and recommendations on the best ways to reach net zero carbon.

Scroll Up