Domestic Heating

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

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  • Posted by PMcDowell January 30, 2021 at 13:48

    Scottish Gas Networks are already working to supply hydrogen to homes in Levenmouth, Fife, as can be seen in this article: https://www.sgn.co.uk/news/[…]t-hydrogen-heating-network.
  • Posted by PMcDowell January 30, 2021 at 13:51

  • Posted by Mmunro49 February 01, 2021 at 14:28

    Wow! Thanks for the info on hydrogen heating. I knew natural gas was being phased out by 2050 when Scotland needs to be net zero carbon emissions. But I didn’t realise they had a non carbon fuel that would use the same infrastructure ( pipes, radiators etc). No one left behind and the benefits of cheaper fuel. Hydrogen gas- WOW!

    H100 Fife is part of the national Gas Goes Green initiative, a collaborative series of projects to prove the viability of hydrogen for heat. They share an objective to demonstrate how the UK’s world class gas network, comprising of over 280,000 km of pipes connected to 23 million homes and businesses, can provide a clear and cost-effective pathway to decarbonise heat through hydrogen at low cost, at pace and at scale. Decarbonisation of the gas networks is necessary in order to achieve the Scottish Government and UK Government carbon net-zero targets by 2045 and 2050 respectively. The industry seeks to evidence that among the alternatives for decarbonising heat, hydrogen offers an attractive, low disruption and lower cost solution for customers.
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