UK Electricity Continues To Get Cleaner

Clean Electricity Generation

Latest figures from the Internation Energy Agency show that electricity generated in the UK continues to get cleaner, with emission rates per unit of electricity at their lowest for over 100 years. The biggest contributor to this is the development and continued investment in offshore wind. In fact, figures show that the UK has the largest offshore wind capacity in the World, and has done so since 2008.

Total Global Installations of Offshore Wind Farms

In fact, such is the increased economic viability and reliability of offshore wind, it is estimated that by 2030 up to one third of the UK's electricity will come from offshore wind. And even better the new industry will create 27,000 jobs!

What Does This Mean For Heat Pumps

Ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps - collectively heat pumps - are a renewable heating technology. Heat pumps completely replace the need for a traditional fossil fuel boiler in your home by producing all of the heating and hot water that you require. Heat pumps are renewable because they source their heat from nature's own "solar battery" - the ground in the case of ground source heat pumps, and the air in the case of air source heat pumps. The heat pumps extract a few degrees from these sources, and then through a refrigeration cycle with a compressor (the same technology you have in your fridge-freezer), creates high grade heat for your home. The energy you've extracted is then replenished by the Sun!

By simply moving heat from one place to another, rather than creating heat like when you burn oil, very little energy is required to pump the heat around, and the fuel required by the heat pump is electricity. This means that the only carbon dioxide emissions produced by the heat pump are those that are created in the production of the electricity at the power sources, which in the UK is a mixture of power plants, wind turbines and solar PV arrays.

So, simply put, the cleaner the electricity grid, the cleaner the heat pump.

Impact On Building Regulations - Why You Need To Be Installing Heat Pumps In Your New Development

All new buildings need to pass building regulations. The section relevant to energy efficiency is Part L, and the calculation used to determine the energy efficiency of a dwelling is called the Standard Assessment Procedure, or SAP.

When calculating the energy efficiency of a home with different heating systems such as gas boilers or heat pumps, the carbon dioxide emission factors for the various fuels are critical in determine which technology to choose.

The latest edition of the SAP calculation, called SAP 10, has now been published and is due to come into force in the next 12 months. The current version of SAP uses carbon emission figures which are nearly 10 years old. Over the past 10 years the UK has undergone a rapid decarbonisation - actually amongst the fastest nations in the World - and as such electricity is now so much cleaner than it was back then.

In fact, the carbon dioxide emission factor in SAP 10 is over 50% lower than the current version.

This single chase will generate a seismic shift towards heat pump technology in the new build sector, and in fact the Greater London Authority has already adopted the SAP 10 methodology in order to promote heat pump technology in London.

Contact Alto Energy Today To Make Heat Pumps Simple

Here at Alto Energy we have decades of experience working with heat pumps, and we exist to make access to the technology as simple as possible for developers, installers, self-builders and homeowners alike. So if you would like to know more about the benefits of heat pumps, then please get in touch today.