Published last week, FPS, which, like OFTEC, believe their members can play a part in achieving net-zero aims, said ‘many of their (CCC) recommendations and timelines tie in with our own future vision’. Welcoming direct conversation with the Committee on some of the points raised, FPS is keen to ‘discuss how they and their members can support the energy transition’.
“Given the demanding challenges of increasing capacity and decarbonising electricity generation, we believe the use of biofuels presents a significant opportunity to make progress in the difficult off-gas grid heating sector, while limiting adverse impacts on consumers,” said OFTEC CEO, Paul Rose.
“We are encouraged that the Committee can see value in continuing to research and trial synthetic fuels, as these technologies could be vital as part of the future solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050,” said Guy Pulham, FPS CEO.
“Employing synthetic liquid fuels for off-grid heating would also reduce the burden on electricity generation and grid capacity, particularly during periods of high demand during winter.
“We absolutely agree that government support on energy efficiency measures is required – both on and off-gas grid – that encourage consumers to upgrade existing equipment, improve insulation and install smart controls to better monitor energy usage.
“We believe that these measures are vital in moving homes upwards through the EPC ratings and thereby reducing emissions although care needs to be taken that the disadvantaged, such as the fuel poor, are not excluded.”
OFTEC, which is wholly committed to the decarbonisation agenda, has been working with industry and government to research and develop plans for a phased migration of oil-using homes across the UK from kerosene to 100% low carbon biofuel.
“Following careful analysis of decarbonisation pathways utilising biofuels, OFTEC confidently believes our sector can contribute to net zero emissions from heat ahead of 2050. We will be presenting more details from our research at our conference in June.”
“Liquid fuels can play a part in the Committee’s list of core solutions for buildings in the short term,” said Guy.
- There are a number of newer products and liquid fuels (made from a wide range of feedstocks including GTL and HVO).
- Low carbon fuels could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 87% of their 2015 value (SOURCE: Ricardo Study CONCAWE 2018) and provide a drop-in replacement to current products.
- Field trials of a bio/fossil fuel mix heating oil in 2010 proved to be successful and we are supportive of new trials this year to prove the viability of this lower carbon fuel in the short term.
- The CCC report also suggests the aviation industry could use synthetic carbon-neutral fuels instead of kerosene, thereby reducing its emissions to zero on a ‘gross’ basis rather than a ‘net’ basis. As kerosene is also used for the 1.5m off grid homes, any changes in the aviation sector could also naturally flow through to the other.
Hybrid heating systems and the need for salient data
The report mentioned that hybrid heating systems could be an appropriate solution for a subset of properties, where the type or quality of building stock prevents the installation of heat pumps or other technologies powered by electricity. Using a hybrid unit combines the higher flow temperatures produced by a boiler, with the efficient operation of a heat pump, to meet the buildings heat demand throughout the year.
We also agree that consumers need to have salient data available in order to make informed decisions about their specific home as the solutions will be different for each home and may be potentially more difficult in rural, older properties. Our members have relationships with 1.5m households across the UK and are keen to play a part in that education.