Domestic heating is responsible for a large proportion of our CO2 emissions. Most Edinburgh residents heat their houses with gas fired boilers driving the central heating. Burning the gas in our gas mains (mainly methane) generates CO2. If we are to stop generating CO2 we must use an alternative fuel. Straight forward electric heating is about 4 times as expensive to run, so is very unattractive. Conversion to ground source or air source heat pumps is not really feasible, particularly if you live in a tenement block, as many residents do. The solution is to convert the gas mains to carrying hydrogen. Hydrogen can be made by electrolysis, using electricity from renewable sources, particularly when there is excess supply and electricity is cheap. Domestic boilers would need to be converted to run on hydrogen. This would be a similar exercise to the one in the 1970s when we converted from town gas to North Sea gas. Boiler manufacturers are already working on dual fuel methane / hydrogen boilers. New housing should of course be fitted with ground source heat pumps which are the most efficient way of heating if the building is designed for it.
Why the contribution is important
Reduction of CO2 emissions is a central plank of the policy of net zero carbon. Domestic heating is responsible for a large fraction of the CO2 emissions in the city. We can only meet zero net carbon if we address this area of energy use. The above idea is a way to achieve this aim.
by PMcDowell on January 30, 2021 at 01:31PM