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Cate’s main research & consultancy focus areas at Delta-ee include the Connected Home Research Service and UK / European microgeneration market analysis.Before joining Delta-ee, Cate worked at the Energy Saving Trust, where she spent 6 years working in domestic energy efficiency and microgeneration, and renewable energy more widely, across the UK and in Scotland. 

Cate brings extensive knowledge of domestic energy use and householder behaviour and is experienced in database management, data analysis, report writing and market analysis. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from the University of St. Andrews.

Hydrogen and hybrid heat pumps: the key pieces in the decarbonisation puzzle?

There is a strong potential future for hydrogen as a means to decarbonise heat, according to the reports published by the UK’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) on 22nd November. Hydrogen is painted as one of the three key solutions (alongside electrification and improved energy efficiency) which will help the UK both decarbonise heat and create more energy system flexibility. This supports Delta-ee’s view that the best route to decarbonisation of heating is likely to be a ‘balanced transition’ across a mix of technologies and fuels.

As our Gas Heating Service highlighted recently, the UK is already one the most active countries in Europe regarding the development of hydrogen for heating: see projects including H21, Hy4Heat, HyNet, HyDeploy and H100. This latest report by the CCC only strengthens the argument that hydrogen could play a key role in heat, as well as in other sectors like transport and industrial processes.

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Reflections on Chillventa 2018

The Internet of Things (IoT) and the refrigerant of the future were top of the agenda on our recent visit to Chillventa 2018 in Nuremberg.

#1: The “Internet of Things” (IoT) was a buzz phrase this year on HVAC-R company stands – was there substance behind the slogan?

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Is electrically driven heat the way forward for the Republic of Ireland?

The Republic of Ireland is one of many EU countries with increasing focus on the electrification of heat to reduce carbon emissions in downstream energy use. Already, 40% of residential new build developments have a heat pump installed. This is set to increase at the end of 2019 with the introduction of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings, effectively removing condensing gas boilers as an option in new build.

Electrification brings with it challenges for the operation of the electricity grid – pressure from variable loads and high peak loading from electric heating and transport combined with increasing inclusion of peaky renewable generation. So, is the Republic of Ireland firmly on the path to electrification of heat? What can be learned from their approach?

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Do gas boilers still have a role to play in Dutch new build homes?

Many in the heating industry are looking with interest at the developing situation in the Netherlands, where a series of earthquakes in the north of the country caused by over-extraction from the Groningen gas field have led to a groundswell of cross-sector support for the idea of reducing – or even entirely removing – the use of Dutch natural gas.

There are a number of policies and supporting mechanisms in place to encourage the move away from natural gas as a fuel for heating homes. The latest has been a well-publicised change to the Dutch Law regulating the gas network operators (‘The Gas Law’).

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Have you installed your last gas boiler?

The heating market is changing. New, lower carbon systems are emerging, and disruption is occurring in the traditional value chains. The industry is at an exciting – and challenging – point in its evolution, with many different pathways it could take into the future.

Through our Delta-ee Gas Heating Service, we are helping companies understand what this future could look like. On Thursday July 13th, we will be holding our public webinar: “Beyond the boiler: how is the future for gas-based heating emerging today?” click here to register.

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Balancing the electricity grid: what role for micro-CHP?

Many European countries are making good progress towards decarbonising their electricity supply through increasing the proportion of electricity coming from renewable sources. But managing the intermittency of generation from some these sources such as PV and wind presents a challenge to Transmission System Operators (TSOs), who are responsible for ensuring the stable and secure operation of the electricity transmission network.

The costs involved in maintaining a stable supply are significant: the UK’s TSO, National Grid, for example, spends around £1bn per year (around a quarter of its total income) procuring ‘balancing’ or ‘ancillary’ services. These services are needed to balance the electricity grid, ensuring enough electricity is available (and at the right times) to meet demand and to maintain the right frequency of electricity.

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