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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.

Why The Netherlands has all the right ingredients for innovative heat offers to succeed

There’s been a lot of talk about the potential for ‘Heat as a service’ & ‘Comfort as service’ (HaaS & CaaS) to revolutionise Europe’s heating markets, reaching more end-users with new, potentially low-carbon, heating appliances. While our research has turned up a number of HaaS-like offerings, so far, we’ve only found one example of what we consider to be ‘true’ heat as a service: Eneco, in the Netherlands.

On reflection, this isn’t surprising. The Netherlands has all the right ingredients that make it the key market where innovative, ‘new heat’ offerings are likely to emerge, and ultimately to succeed. The 7 key has are:

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Heating the Netherlands: the future’s all-electric. Or is it? Delta-EE’s top 10 facts to demystify the Dutch heating market

The Netherlands has set some of the most ambitious targets in Europe to phase out natural gas in heating (and elsewhere), aiming to be “natural gas free” by 2050. This is no small ask in a country where, today, almost 90% of the >7million homes use natural gas - usually via an individual boiler (or “CV-ketel”) as their main source of heating and hot water.

Since the gas free target was set, heat pump sales have grown rapidly, increasing numbers of new homes are being built without a gas connection, and the government subsidy supporting renewable heating installations – the ISDE – proved so popular, it had to be closed to new applications part-way through 2019[1].

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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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