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Industry taskforce demanded for heat

The Government was urged to establish a heat taskforce to tackle the issues facing the industry followng its Call for Evidence on Heat.

The full details of all the submissions received during the consultation earlier this year have now been released online by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) which will now use the information gathered to develop a new heat strategy.

British Electrotechnical & Allied Manufacturers Association (BEAMA) director Kelly Butler said in her submission: “There needs to be a much stronger and consistent Heat Strategy discussion with the heating industry through a formal consultation and implementation platform similar to the 2016 task force.”

Key issues for BEAMA included a need  for the Government to publish realistic projections for anticipated grid decarbonisation up to 2050 to support any strategic decision making process.

The report said: “Without projections it is impossible to generate a heat strategy including electric options or to accurately predict the carbon reduction benefit of microgeneration and Combined Heat and Power.”

BERR received representations from a total of 127 organisations and individuals including manufacturers, energy companies, renewable specialists, consultants, trade organisations and government bodies.

Opinions on the way forward varied massively and the Micropower Council questioned, alongside others, the focus of the report. Its submission said: “The Micropower Couincil is concerned that the Call for Evidence places too much emphasis on reducing carbon emissions from heat by decarbonising the Grid and increasing use of electricity for heating.

“It is clear that urgent action is needed to decarbonise the grid but this alone will not be sufficient to meet our climate change objectives – we must also utilise all effective low carbon heat solutions.”

A BERR spokesman said: “We are now putting together a report and will be conducting a further consultation in the autumn.”

Extracts from Evidence:
'Examining technologies on a purely capital cost basis only gives a partial representation of the full costs of adopting a decarbonised energy technology. The additional consideration of operation and maintenance costs, which vary significantly by technology, may shift the order of preference of technologies.'
Arup -
'In the United States, particularly in California, significant incentives to reduce peak electricity usage have been introduced to minimise peak demand and shed load to the off peak periods, in order to reduce the risk of power shortages and reduce investment in new plant to meet high peak demand.'
Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers -
'In reality, a middle way has to be found between the cost model as presented in the heat call for evidence and the carbon model as reintroduced by Stern. Reliance on a cost only model will leave the UK far behind in the energy supply process.'
Ground Source Heat Pump Association -
'We believe that a liquid bio-fuel will play a significant part in heating homes in the future. Also it is likely that liquid fuel heating will be supplements by microgeneration devices such as solar panels and air or ground source heat pumps to obtain even greater carbon savings.'
Oil Firing Technical Association -
'A very simple thing Government could do, would be to instruct Public bodies to consider renewable heat technologies in the procurement of all new and replacement heating and apply whole life costing principles when making decisions.'
Renewable Energy Association -
'We believe that the emphasis in future policy making should be on low-carbon heat, of which renewable heat would form a part, rather than concentrating solely on renewable heat. We would include heat pumps as well as fossil fired CHP as “low carbon” rather than “renewable” as they require electrical or mechanical power to drive them.'
Siemens Power Generation -
'There is a major risk that by placing an excessive focus on the cost model, without a more strategic assessment of the economic benefits to the UK of embracing renewable heat technologies, the UK will not move beyond looking for cheapest cost options whilst our European partners race further ahead in their technological development of low and zero carbon energy technology.'
Solar Trade Association -
'Today, the gas boiler dominates as the primary source of heat in UK homes and that replacement of these products is usually on a distress purchase basis i.e. the boiler fails and the user needs an instance replacement. Few, if any of the low-zero carbon technologies lend themselves to this type of replacement cycle but need varying degrees of planning in advance of installation. In addition, not all property types are suitable for every renewable technology, and indeed many existing buildings will present their own unique set of challenges. For this reason, we believe the future energy mix will be made up of a range of technology types supported by various policies to stimulate uptake. A high degree of flexibility so as to prevent unnecessary delays in replacement of products must be retained but coupled with policies that stimulate a change in behaviour to ensure future product replacement becomes planned rather than reactive.'
Vaillant Group -

For more details view the full documents at