NNFCC Produces Bioliquid Heating Report for BEIS

Posted in: bioenergy

NNFCC's report for BEIS discusses bioenergy options for heating UK homes that aren't connected to the gas grid.

Not all UK homes are connected to the gas grid, and those that aren’t must find alternative means of supplying both space and water heating. The fuel choices for off-grid homes are limited, with most relying on kerosene (or home heating oil); a dirtier alternative to natural gas. This results in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to over 7 million tonnes of CO2. Therein lies an opportunity for renewable heating technologies to be implemented, both to reduce these emissions, but to also reduce fossil fuel consumption.

The UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is looking to phase out the use of high-carbon heating fuels during the 2020’s, and commissioned NNFCC to produce a report looking at the potential of bioliquid fuels to meet the needs of the off-gas grid community. The fuel options considered include vegetable oils, used cooking oils, BioLPG (or biopropane), and biodiesel blends.

Over 1 million UK homes are heated with kerosene, and the NNFCC report looked into the feasibility of converting these boilers to run on 100% bioliquid fuels or blends of fossil fuels and bioliquids, such as 30% biodiesel and 70% kerosene (a mix known as B30K). Other options include fuel switching from fossil LPG to BioLPG, or installing new dedicated boilers to run on bioliquids. In many cases, the technology already exists for the transition to take place, such as switching from fossil LPG to BioLPG, and so the primary barrier is feedstock availability. In other cases, technology barriers were identified such as the specific requirements for heating systems to store and run on different biodiesel blends. Working with partners Re:heat, NNFCC evaluated the costs of converting from fossil-based heating to bioliquid-based heating for a variety housing archetypes, taking into account the variability of existing off-gas-grid heating systems. The required evidence for the analysis was gathered through stakeholder interviews, a field study, scientific and legislative literature, and a deployment model.

This report, alongside another from Element Energy, will be used to advise BEIS on future approaches when deciding policy framework for off-gas-grid heating.

The report is available to read here.

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