Local pathways to low-carbon domestic heat : exploring the options in the UK

Hawker, Graeme and Bell, Keith and Flett, Graeme and Allison, John and Cowie, Andrew and Kelly, Nicolas (2017) Local pathways to low-carbon domestic heat : exploring the options in the UK. In: International Conference on Energy Systems Integration, 2017-12-05 - 2017-12-06, National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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Currently, natural gas is the predominant source of domestic heat provision. Take-up of heat pumps and district heating remains at a minimal penetration of around 0.5%. In total, only around 2.5% of heat comes from low carbon sources, compared with more than 45% of electricity. As heat accounts for around 40% of UK energy consumption and 20% of GHG emissions, the decarbonisation of the heat sector is seen as vital for the UK to reach UK emission reduction targets. Different trajectories in heat provision using parallel energy vectors (electricity, gas, alternative gases, heat networks) imply a range of infrastructure impacts. In order to explore the form of different local energy systems under decarbonisation scenarios, this work seeks to: - Capture the broad forms of ’last-mile’ network: Urban, Suburban, Rural (on/off gas grid ) seen as exemplar of the UK energy system; - Downscale whole system-derived technology mixes and construct demonstrative local energy systems representing key use cases; - Using multi-carrier optimisation, determine the impacts of heat decarbonisation on current and future system actors.