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Will he be proved right about ASHP

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No.

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I feel he is correct that heat pumps aren't suited to existing housing stock due to poor insulation and the grant scheme is inflating prices.

 

I don't know how common it is to fit a heap pump to a existing house but in those cases I think he is right.

 

He mentionedthat for them to work that house needs to well insulated and draft proof which even all new houses aren't. 

 

I don't agree that gas prices are going to be raised to discourage boilers, and can't image there would be enough to warrant mis-sold claims 

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I think he has highlighted the ignorance in the industry that he claims to be an expert in.

 

X is an unknown quantity.

Spurt is a drip under pressure.

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A friend of mine works for a very large plumbing and heating company His new van is now covered with heat renewable graphics

I thought this will be handy when it comes to a HP He told me he’s holding back being certified as long as possible 

He told me that ALL there HP work is grant work Mainly Counsul owned homes 

Most of the people arnt paying there own bills So don’t want you in there houses 

 

Hes very skeptical about the 2025 date 

He pointed that BG are still laying and relaying has mains 

Why 

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5 minutes ago, nod said:

He pointed that BG are still laying and relaying has mains 

Why

Natural gas supplies are not being banned, there will still be a market for the product.

Just like combustion cars, sometime in the future there will come a crossover point where it becomes cheaper to buy a replacement with more modern technology.

Don't confuse sales to early adopters as true market trends.  Many people bought Video 2000, but then Betamax came along, soon followed by VHS, DVD/Blueray has been a  very short lived technology, now we 'stream on demand', and complain that our broadband is not good enough.

Natural Gas, combined with small amounts of land fill gas and maybe some hydrogen injection will be with us for a very long time.

 

I had a look at how many new houses get built in Cornwall each year, seems to be about 3000 (some of these are conversions from larger houses to flats).  Sounds a lot, but that is only about 2% growth, population growth in the county (or country as we like to claim) is about 1%.  So the house building boom is not going to last for long.  Thankfully we have a lot of houses that are not on gas down here, probably 25% (guess that is).  Many of them are ripe to convert when the 'heating industry' gets it act together.

17 minutes ago, nod said:

He told me he’s holding back being certified as long as possible

Why, he already does PD courses, so adding another one is not a problem surely.  At the individual fitter lever, he has nothing to loose, HP technology is not going to change overnight, not exactly new is it.

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11 minutes ago, nod said:

Hes very skeptical about the 2025 date 

 

The 2025 date is for new builds, and requires them to have a zero carbon heating system.

 

For the existing housing stock the only plan currently announced is 2028: EPC C or above for all rental, social and houses sold;  2035: EPC C or above for all housing.

 

There's been no suggestion yet on how the transition to non-fossil fuel heating systems will be encouraged, or forced for existing housing, but it is the stated aim.

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I realize the 2025 is for new builds 

I think the point he was trying to make is that the Counsul house stock will be swapped onto HPs Very few existing will be swapped over 
I don’t think anyone would disagree that swapping won’t be attractive without massive grants 

 

We will go down the HP route on our next builds Simply because there is no gas available 

The sad fact is that the electricity we use to run the HP will be run by fossil fuels for many years 

Most of the predictions are relying on technology that has yet been invented 

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12 minutes ago, nod said:

Most of the predictions are relying on technology that has yet been invented 

?

That needs a lot more explanation.

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23 minutes ago, IanR said:

2028: EPC C or above for all rental

 

Well that's not going to happen - we can't be alone in having some 60's rental properties, ex council houses as well as originally privately owned (9 inch brick).

 

There is no way we could get them to EPC C unless they lower the criteria or give us large grants to wrap them in insulation.  And for a couple either side of a narrow drive to the garages at the back, you can only just get a modern car through, so there's no way you could slap a foot of insulation each of the houses either side of the drive.

 

Just watch this be reeled back in when they realise the impossibility of making it work.

 

Simon

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I haven't watched the video but I'm suspecting it's a bit of a Roger's rant!

 

Regardless of the arguments re efficiency/inefficiency, I suspect that there will be a gas distribution network in place for a long time to come and that this will be used for some kind of hydrogen/naturual gas/biogas mixture. I find it interesting that biogas hasn't played much part in the debate about future heating. Norway, however, has recently voted in parliament to add biogas as a third option in line with electricity and hydrogen. In its recent newsletter, Ecotricity mention its biogas project near Reading and how it wants to UK government to re-think its future energy strategy.

 

For me the argument shouldn't be an either/or focus on a single heating strategy - these are all doomed to failure eventually because it inevitably puts too much pressure on a single resource. I think it should be a diversified strategy that includes all options depending on suitability. Thus you'd get heat pumps in some locations, geothermal in others (like some areas in Cornwall), biogass somewhere else, etc. In some areas of housing, district heating could be a very sensible option that uses shared, large scale heatpumps together with solar etc. - think village energy cooperative, using an unused field, or even the local football and cricket pitches.

 

For me there's just too much narrow thinking on solving the problem.

 

I also have to say that I get quite worried about some tendencies toward heat pump evangelism that doesn't really deal with the real world drawbacks of these systems, nor the practicalities of large scale implementation. They're neither a panacea, nor are the entirely as environmentally benevolent as they're made out to be. In many studies heatpumps come out quite low when it comes to overall environmental impact, even if they're favourable in terms of GHG impact.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, SimonD said:

For me the argument shouldn't be an either/or focus on a single heating strategy

 

I don't believe that is the argument, one size clearly does not fit all, so there will continue to be a mix of technologies that provide heat to our homes and in a wider context to industrial and commercial buildings and powering transport etc.

 

But, that mix is going to change. The only technology available today that could be up-scaled to provide the majority of net-zero-carbon heat for homes at anything like a similar price to that currently paid is electricity. The plans currently in place are therefore to generate more renewable electricity as a proportion of the total electricity produced, generate more electricity in total to allow a shift away from fossil fuels, and prepare the housing stock to be heated by non-fossil fuel sources.

 

There will be a proportion of homes and buildings that for one reason or another can not viably be heated by electricity, and the other options you mention will fulfil that need. Since this is a long term shift, new technologies may be developed that can be up-scaled sufficiently to be included in the mix. Green hydrogen is an obvious example, and has the benefit of being able to be supplied within most of the the existing domestic natural gas infrastructure (although not the gas grid side, which would require upgrading) - it's just that currently it's a very inefficient user of electricity and a step change is required in the electrolysis process to make it scalable for heating homes.

 

It doesn't take a heat pump evangelist to then appreciate that they offer a relatively efficient method for using electricity to provide the heat in our homes, so cannot be dismissed as a "niche", "failed" or "snake oil" technology.

Edited by IanR

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57 minutes ago, SimonD said:

find it interesting that biogas hasn't played much part in the debate about future heating

Part of the problem is that we don't produce that much, and with new waste legislation, we will produce even less.

But BIFFA have some numbers about what they are doing. 90MW of installed capacity, 530 GWh/year generation. So a capacity factor of 68%, which is pretty good.

The UK generates around 75 TWh of electricity a year.

So BIFFA supplies about 0.7% of the UKs energy.

We can all easily save 1% by turning the DHW temperature down by less than 1⁰C.

 

There is also the problem if CO2. LFG is about 40% CO2, which is not combustible, so you either take a hit on the boiler efficiency or you have to remove it.

 

1 hour ago, SimonD said:

For me the argument shouldn't be an either/or focus on a single heating strategy

I don't think the strategy is either/or. That is just they way it gets reported. 

If it was, then we would be building nuclear power plants by the dozen, installing 1000s if large wind turbines and filling unused space with PV, then swapping out thermal boilers with electrical boilers. Would possibly be the fastest way to reduce GHG emissions.

But we have legislation in place that near enough stops all that.

And the cash price would be very high circa £80/MWh wholesale. Almost double what we pay today.

Though 8p/kWh wholesale, it is really still very, very cheap.

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1 hour ago, SteamyTea said:

?

That needs a lot more explanation.

Andre Marr asked the energy minister 

“Are your targets achievable with current technologies Or are you relying on technology that does exist yet”

Surprisingly he answered Yes and Yes 

Then wittterrd on about how quickly McLaren had developed respirators for the NHS 

Im also skeptical 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, nod said:

Andre Marr asked the energy minister 

“Are your targets achievable with current technologies Or are you relying on technology that does exist yet”

Surprisingly he answered Yes and Yes 

Then wittterrd on about how quickly McLaren had developed respirators for the NHS 

Im also skeptical 

This morning on Radio 4 there was something about gas smart meters not being able to work with hydrogen.

Big deal, if the only challenge was swapping a meter over then life would be easy.

 

In education, there is often a saying that we are education people for jobs that don't exist yet.

This is total bollocks. Changing a name from typist to word processor operator is not a new job. A person who used to be called an attention seeker is now called a YouTube star. Not exactly new.

 

There is way to much bullshit spoken in some quarters, and there seems to be an impression the more people that follow your belief, the more right you are, as long as you shout about it.

 

Did McLaren invent the ventilator, no, and did they make any in the end?

Edited by SteamyTea

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1 hour ago, IanR said:

I don't believe that is the argument, one size clearly does not fit all, so there will continue to be a mix of technologies that provide heat to our homes and in a wider context to industrial and commercial buildings and powering transport etc.

 

I don't believe that to be the argument either, but it does come across that way, not only in the popular press and forums, but also in a fair number of papers investigating feasibility of certain future pathways - much of this is of course down to the academic requirements of such papers, but it does tend to narrow down the debate, in my view anyway.

 

However, if you do look at the CCC 6th budget, it ain't exactly well diversified in terms of options. For home heating it's heat pumps, hydrogen, biomass, oil and gas. Biomass has already proven itself to be unsustainable so I wouldn't be surprised if that drops off the radar in a few years time. In terms of electricity generation, yes wind and solar power play a significant role, indeed windpower is planned to be the backbone. However, the strategy also relies on carbon capture technology and the ability to burn hydrogen in gas powered plants. In fact, hydrogen plays a major role in most scenarios.

 

1 hour ago, IanR said:

But, that mix is going to change.

 

I certainly hope it does 😊

 

1 hour ago, IanR said:

Since this is a long term shift

 

I agree, yet for me this actually gets overlooked. You'd expect that as part of the necessary shift to alternative technologies, there would be a phase change that may not use ideal scenarios, but takes us in the right direction, rather than looking for the silver bullet right now. I think that this tendency of thinking is actually preventing some of the structural change required to make faster positive steps that might be more innovative.

 

The problem is also not always technological, it's social, cultural and psychological.

1 hour ago, IanR said:

It doesn't take a heat pump evangelist to then appreciate that they offer a relatively efficient method for using electricity to provide the heat in our homes, so cannot be dismissed as a "niche", "failed" or "snake oil" technology.

 

Agreed, there just needs to be a balanced, well informed, debate about it.

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1 hour ago, SteamyTea said:

Part of the problem is that we don't produce that much, and with new waste legislation, we will produce even less.

 

To me what you've just said represents part of the problem with the skewed logic abound in this field. We don't have the required facilities to capture carbon, to produce the hydrogen, nor do we have the necessary infrastructure to fully electrify our world. I found it interesting to read some of the extensive research done in Norway, investigating the many untapped sources of biogass available, and it's not just waste. I was also fascinated to find the various technogologies that have been developed to refine biogas, even self contained modular systems that start small at a farm yet can be easily be scaled up for larger facilities.

 

It would be quite surprising if a company such as Ecotricity were to be investing in something that's a pure dudd. Now it may be using grass from otherwise unproductive agricultural land, but there are many other sources such as farming and industry. If the waste from agriculture that is currently killing our rivers were to be utilised otherwise, perhaps those very industrial farms could find themselve self-energising their activities. Just a thought

 

Pure speculation, I know, but when I looked, I couldn't find a lot of research on potential in the UK, simply current figures.

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5 minutes ago, SimonD said:

To me what you've just said represents part of the problem with the skewed logic abound in this field

I think you misunderstood my point.

We can capture all the 'bio' waste we want, but compared to our current usage, it is tiny, which is why we don't do much of it at the moment.

 

Regarding the farm waste and other sources, a mate of mine  commissions these types of units and there is a lot more to it than just letting the waste ferment, then capture the gas and either inject it into a gas grid (it has to be of the correct calorific value, not pollute existing equipment...) or burn it in an engine to generate electricity.

 

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13 minutes ago, SimonD said:

We don't have the required facilities to capture carbon, to produce the hydrogen, nor do we have the necessary infrastructure to fully electrify our world.

~~~~~

Pure speculation, I know, but when I looked, I couldn't find a lot of research on potential in the UK, simply current figures.

 

Today we don't, but there are the green shoots of a plan. Carbon capture still requires development to scale up, but is in the plan to allow continued use of Gas for flexibility in electricity generation. There's also a plan for long term electricity storage, to help with peaks and reduce the amount of Gas power stations required.

 

image.png.9fe0ece268a8544c0ebb605fbb78bfcc.png

Ref. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/945899/201216_BEIS_EWP_Command_Paper_Accessible.pdf

 

The above linked document is a long read, but a good overview of the Governments thinking with future predictions.

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I can’t wait for a sewerage treatment plant that produces gas to heat the home or run the car 🤔

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