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Last week Delta-EE attended the 2019 Low Carbon Network Innovation conference in Glasgow. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the range of innovation projects DNOs are currently developing and to discuss our transition to a low-carbon energy system.
The growth of distributed renewable energy is widely regarded as a positive step towards the UK meeting its 2050 net-zero climate target. However, whilst this goal is necessary there is no escaping the challenges it presents for the electricity networks. Distribution networks in the UK are being required to accommodate ever increasing amounts of intermittent renewable generation such as solar PV, and wind. At the same time, they have been called upon to support the electrification of heat and transport with rapidly increasing demand for EV charging and heat pumps. Both present challenges.
During the rush of the Easter bank holiday weekend, I stumbled across the Edinburgh International Science Festival’s Ecoville. Nestled neatly on The Mound next to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, this EDF Energy-sponsored event is in prime position to catch the eye of passers-by.
So, what is Ecoville all about?
Power-Gen Europe, held in Cologne last week, has for decades been an annual ‘must attend’ fixture for the conventional power generation industry. Everyone in the sector has been there, and the big centralised power players competed at a monumental scale for stand size, profile and ‘wow factor’.
The replacement rate of older, less efficient heating technology is an urgent challenge for industry. Our upcoming European Heat Summit is the perfect place to discuss solutions.
The EU 2050 Low Carbon Roadmap requires a 90% reduction in carbon emissions from houses and office buildings by 2050. Over half of the currently installed heaters in Europe are old and inefficient: a base of 80 million (EHI, 2015). The current rate of replacement of these systems is approximately 4%, at about 3 million a year. This is not fast enough.
Even though Italy can boast that it is gearing up to implement Europe’s strong RES directive regulations sooner than other countries (a step that will improve prospects for low carbon technologies in the new build sector) – our Roadmap Service research indicates that this is merely the silver lining on a very foreboding cloud. Many other important factors fail to support decarbonising the residential heating sector in Italy.
Cracking the retrofit sector remains the key challenge, and we believe that gas based low carbon technologies represent the most promising solution. Market dynamics strongly favour gas, especially in the short to medium term:
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