greenhouse gas emissions from home heating presents a great challenge for decarbonising
the UK energy system. This is particularly true in the case of the 4 million properties
that are not connected to the national gas grid. Residents in these, often
rural, properties rely on bulk-delivered fuels that are more carbon-intensive
than natural gas, such as home heating oil (kerosene), LPG and coal.
Government is seeking to phase out the use of high-carbon heating fuels throughout
the 2020s and in 2019 the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial
Strategy (BEIS) commissioned two studies to gather evidence and analyse the
options for off-gas grid homes to switch to cleaner fuel alternatives, namely
electric and bioenergy. NNFCC were successful in securing the contract to analyse
the potential for bioenergy-based heating systems.
examined the current off-gas housing stock and evaluated the potential of
bioliquids to replace traditional high-carbon fuels, with a focus on the
following fuel types:
- Vegetable oils
- Used cooking oil
- Biodiesel (FAME)
- BioLPG (biopropane)
- Fuel blends (e.g. 30% biodiesel in kerosene, B30K)
availability was a key factor to be considered for each of these fuel types, so
using NNFCCs in-house knowledge, previous resource assessment analysis and
established network we explored arisings, compatibility and competing demands.
Subsequently, a technology landscape assessment was undertaken to identify
suitable heating systems or components compatible with the fuel types being
considered, and technical, practical and economic constraints were explored using
a combination of methods including a literature review, stakeholder surveys and
were supported in this project by technical partners, re:heat, who focussed on
the practical constraints of installation for bioliquid heating systems. Re:heat
visited a number of different properties, representing a range of housing
architypes and sizes to explore the technical requirements and logistical
issues associated with a switch to the fuel types being considered. As a result
of this field-survey, a number of cost scenarios were developed to illustrate
the likely cost range of different heating options to off-gas grid properties.
and technology availability and outline costs were combined in a sophisticated
Deployment Model developed by NNFCC, to illustrate likely costs, constraints
and carbon savings applicable to varying deployment scenarios. The model was
fully flexible, to allow varying deployment rates, fuel- and technology-choices
to be modelled, and to allow the client to fully understand the impact of
future policy options in terms of both economic and environmental impact.
The project was presented to representatives
from BEIS and other Government departments in March 2019 and subsequently
published as evidence to support current heat-policy thinking in BEIS.