Could the way we heat and provide hot water to our homes be about to change? PHPD reports on Worcester Bosch‘s “Future of Fuel” report.
How will we heat homes in the future? A generation ago, whilst the UK was enjoying the benefits of North Sea Gas, we were not even considering this question. Today, armed with the knowledge that the climate is changing, and understanding the need to decarbonise our society, it is a pressing consideration.
With around four in every five homes using natural gas for heating and hot water, it is clear that reforming the heating market is essential. One proposed option is a move to electrification – with electricity being generated from nuclear and renewables.
Another option is through decarbonisation of the existing natural gas grid, by introducing Hydrogen. Over time, this could become the main way to heat homes.
As part of the growing debate on this topic, heating manufacturer Worcester Bosch has recently published a 12-page report, ‘The Future of Fuel’. It outlines how Hydrogen could be a more sustainable alternative to electrification of heating and hot water generation, before detailing the technical requirements of a hydrogen-fuelled domestic boiler.
Hydrogen to heat
‘The Future of Fuel’ argues that the UK can successfully decarbonise heat and hot water generation without radically changing the way 85% of households heat their homes.
According to the report, decarbonising the supply running through the mains gas network would not only cost three times less than the government’s current aim of electrification, but would also allow the UK’s longstanding infrastructure to remain.
Mike Foster, CEO of the Energy & Utilities Alliance (EUA) and author of the report’s introduction, commented: “Numerous studies have shown that switching to electricity is a more expensive option for the UK and it will struggle to meet demand in a cold snap. Low carbon gas in our homes will be the cheapest, most secure, and most flexible source of energy we can deploy. The fact that it meets our international obligations too, should be something we welcome.”
Martyn Bridges, Director of Technical Communication and Product Management at Worcester Bosch noted: “If the ultimate objective is to decarbonise heat, it would be very short-sighted to try and do so by removing gas from 26 million homes.
“The UK’s established gas infrastructure has worked incredibly well for many years, which presents us with a massive opportunity. We can leave it untouched, replacing only the chemical make-up of matter running through it to a carbon-free alternative. As ever, however, political will is vital if we are to use hydrogen as a means to achieving our goal of carbon reduction.”
As well as comparing hydrogen with natural gas, ‘The Future of Fuel’ also takes a close look at the technical requirements of a hydrogen boiler, before going on to suggest answers to many of the questions likely to arise as the prospect of a hydrogen-supplied gas network becomes more tangible.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
The Future of Fuel: What the future holds for the UK’s mains gas network, is available to download via the Worcester Bosch website at worcester-bosch.co.uk/hydrogen