Our member Herschel unveiled their brand new infrared heating production facility in Bristol last week.
It was great to meet the team and celebrate the potential that infrared heating has to offer in the decarbonisation of heat and buildings and helping us to reach net zero.
Jade spoke alongside local MP and Chair of the Business and Trade Select Committee Darren Jones.
Read Jade’s speech here:
There is no doubt that energy is currently top of the UK’s agenda; especially considering the political climate surrounding the energy and cost-of-living crises, the UK’s attempts to reduce the devastating impacts of climate change and transition to Net Zero, and much more.
We saw numerous announcements at the end of March, with the publication of the Powering Up Britain plan—setting out how the Government will bring Energy Security and Net Zero together. Also, their response to the Net Zero Review, by Chris Skidmore MP, the Climate Change Committee’s Progress Report to Parliament and the Net Zero Strategy Court Case.
The Government also created four new departments to accelerate the transition to Net Zero and create secure energy supplies, supporting their priorities for bringing down inflation, cutting energy bills, and working towards Net Zero.
An Energy Efficiency Taskforce has been set up to help cut building energy consumption by 15% by 2030 and help to deliver £6billion of additional government funding for energy efficiency improvements from 2025.
What all of these announcements signal, is that the Net Zero transition is coming down the tracks, and at speed, and decarbonising heat will need to play a central role.
The long-awaited Government Heat and Buildings Strategy finally materialised in October 2021 and set the strategic direction for the decarbonisation of buildings in England as we transition towards net zero.
Ultimately, net zero will mean completely moving away from burning fossil fuels for heating so the Strategy places a significant focus on plans to drive down the cost of clean heat and incentivise consumers to install low carbon heating systems.
The Government’s target is for all new heating systems, by 2035, to either be using low carbon technologies, like heat pumps, or low carbon ready technologies, such as hydrogen ready boilers.
The SEA recognises that there is no single solution to decarbonising the UK’s buildings. We advocate a technology agnostic approach to decarbonising heat, believing that there is no silver bullet. In practice a range of technologies will be required that are appropriate for the particular building and its occupants.
Our latest thought leadership paper, ‘A Technology-Agnostic Approach to Heat and Buildings Policy’, sets out the many benefits to the Government of taking a more neutral approach.
Firstly, embracing a greater number of technologies will help us accelerate our progress towards achieving net zero, while helping us to reap the wider benefits like healthy indoor environments that promote wellbeing and buildings adapted for climate change.
It will also put more emphasis on the installation of smart and flexible technologies that unlock grids and reduce the costs associated with operating buildings.
Just as importantly, taking this approach can help to get consumers more effectively engaged, providing them with a solution that meets their needs and desires, generating a more proactive approach to retrofitting – something the UK needs in order to effectively decarbonise all buildings.
A technology agnostic approach has the benefit of stimulating a greater number of supply chains which will drive and accelerate the deployment of technologies and skills at a local level. Stimulating investment in manufacturing, supply chains and innovation.
So, while heat pumps are going to play a very important role in the future of low carbon heat, and we are very supportive of their use, we are also going to require a vast scope of other technologies, ranging from electrified solutions, such as infrared heating, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, solar PV, and electric battery storage, to thermal storage, smart controls, solar thermal systems, low-carbon fuels and much more.
I’m therefore delighted to be here today to see Herschel open their new production facility, which will allow them to increase their capacity in the UK market and overseas, helping progress the delivery of low carbon heating and bringing us slightly closer to delivering that ever so important Net Zero target.