The UK government has its eyes firmly on a green future and net zero emissions by 2050.
At the end of 2020, the government produced a Ten Point Plan for a Green Revolution that sets out how it intends to get us all there.
One of the prime targets is to decarbonise the UK’s heating.
The government wants to wean us off our reliance on fossil fuels such as natural gas for heating and hot water in homes and other buildings.
It’s an addiction that costs us a lot in environmental terms: heating in buildings and industry produces over 30% of our emissions.
Those with the skills will be at the forefront of heating’s new future
Not just homes
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) which informs and tracks government’s progress towards the 2050 goal, has made it clear that it wants high carbon options for heating and hot water in buildings to be phased out.
You have probably already heard that legislation will ban gas boilers from new homes from 2025. There is now a deadline for commercial buildings: 2033 (and 2030 for public buildings).
We are facing a heating revolution in the next decade.
One of the main reasons the government believes this shift is achievable is the UK’s increasingly green electricity grid.
Coal-fired power stations have been phased down, with the last four closed for good by 2024.
In 2020 around 40% of the UK’s electricity was produced from renewable sources, and the Ten Point Plan includes a lot more wind generation shortly.
Heat pumps for heating
To harness this clean electricity, the CCC is focused on heat pumps to deliver heating and hot water to buildings.
The Committee envisions a future in which low carbon sources meet our national heat requirements – 52% heat pumps; 42% district heating; 5% hydrogen boilers and 1% new direct electric heating.
As the country shifts away from coal and gas-fired power stations, we need to use that power as efficiently as possible, which is why heat pumps are central to the plan.
They use electric energy so efficiently, producing around 3kW of heating for every 1kW of electricity input.
The government’s plan is ambitious. We need to be installing 600,000 heat pumps each year by 2028.
It’s a massive jump from the level we’re at today, so those with the skills to carry out this work will be at the forefront of heating’s new future.
A real opportunity
The UK’s Heat Pump Association (HPA) acknowledges the challenge behind those figures.
In its 2019 report, Delivering Net Zero: A Roadmap for the Role of Heat Pumps, the HPA states: “One of the key barriers in stimulated deployment of heat pumps is the development of a well-trained and large installer base.”
There is a significant opportunity for installers with heat pump skills to contribute to the UK’s switch to energy efficient electric heating.
And at Mitsubishi Electric we have focused on offering the latest heat pumps for homes and non-residential buildings.
We have dedicated R&D into the technology which includes our Ecodan QAHV. This heat pump can produce hot water at 90 degrees Centigrade, so it’s ideal for commercial sanitary hot water applications such as hotels, leisure centres, hospitals and more.
As an added benefit, we can also offer a five-year warranty on non-domestic Mitsubishi Electric heat-pumps providing peace of mind to customers too.
It’s time to embrace the switch to electric heating.
Erling Binns, Business Development Manager