E.One’s new boss has said that electric heating systems such as heat pumps “exist now” and that they need to be installed rather than waiting for other unproven solutions.
Chris Norbury, who leads the energy company in the UK, said it was important to “keep an open mind” to all the technologies that could heat homes without creating carbon emissions.
But the focus should be on systems that can be used today rather than decades from now.
“We have to keep an open mind to all the technologies that give us the opportunity to advance the energy transition,” he told the PA news agency.
“In terms of the opportunity for heating and electrifying homes, it exists now. The technology exists now. You don’t have a long period of time to wait before you act.
“So, for us, our focus is on the opportunity that is now in front of us to decarbonize heating, to make energy more affordable, through greater electrification.”
“We cannot wait 10 years to tackle the climate crisis,” he added.
These words about the sometimes heated debate between supporters of heat pumps – a way to heat your home with electricity – and those who think hydrogen, a gas, should be burned to heat homes Come in response to a question.
At present, most UK homes are heated by burning natural gas. But it is a fossil fuel and burning it releases carbon emissions as well as chemicals that can be unhealthy to breathe.
There are many possible solutions whose proponents could help the UK meet its climate targets.
There is a so-called district heating network, which works best in cities, where large buildings or even whole neighborhoods share hot water.
Another option is a heat pump. These work like reverse air conditioners, and can be very energy efficient.
Critics of heat pumps point to two weaknesses: they are not always as efficient in poorly insulated homes, which are common in the UK, and they are more difficult to install in some buildings, such as blocks of flats.
The other option is hydrogen, which does not emit carbon when it burns.
Those who oppose the use of hydrogen point to the fact that the technology is largely unproven, that most hydrogen is produced from natural gas so still emits a lot of carbon, and that there are no more environmentally friendly ways to make hydrogen. Many times more electricity is required to produce it. Just that electricity is being used directly to heat homes.
“Is electrifying heating the right thing to do? In terms of the ability to decarbonize heating, does it make energy more affordable for customers, and does it create good jobs? It does all those things,” Mr. Norbury said.