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Decarbonisation means lower gas consumption?

Tom Andrews Senior Analyst

In this Chart of the week, we compare the source of heating fuels of four European nations with the UK. Each country has a different starting point, different challenges and opportunities based on their fuel use and social and economic factors, but they are all looking to significantly decarbonise over the next three decades. The chart was first presented at our inaugural Introducing the Low Carbon Heat Landscape training course on 24 March, where we discussed the scale of the decarbonisation challenge, the current policy and regulation environment and various pathways to meet the net zero challenge. The Netherlands, like the UK, has relied predominantly on natural gas (87%) to provide heating. It has taken an initial approach of improving energy efficiency, including whole-house retrofits under the “EnergieSprong” model; work is ongoing to 111,000 social houses and the country is aiming to roll this out to 170,000 homes a year. Hydrogen and other green gases are also expected to displace natural gas, with offshore wind farms looking to develop green hydrogen production either onshore or on the turbines themselves. Italy has less reliance on natural gas at 60% and already uses nearly 30% renewable energies in its heating mix. In part this is due to biomass-fired heat networks in the north of the country, but also due to renewable electricity. It is moving ahead with policies to require new buildings to incorporate heat pumps and higher levels of energy efficiency. Germany has many small electricity networks at the local level, including many that are ...

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