Clean growth report welcomed


22 August 2019
Bean Beanland
The Ground Source Heat Pump Association has welcomed a report on clean growth from the Science and Technology Committee, which highlights a lack of Government policies in place to deliver the net zero emissions target by 2050.

Among the ‘areas of shortfall’ identified are a lack of promised consultation on changes to Building Regulations to improve energy efficiency. The report also points out that the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme is due to close in 2021 but no replacement scheme has yet been announced.
The committee recommends 10 steps needed to meet the legally binding target, including urgently developing a clearer strategy for decarbonising heat. This will, it says, require large-scale trials of different heating technologies, such as heat pumps and hydrogen gas heating, operating in homes and cities to build the evidence base required for long-term decisions.

Norman Lamb MP, chair of the committee, said: “Parliament has declared a climate emergency. The worrying effects of climate change, such as heatwaves, wildfires and flooding are already occurring at an alarming rate and will have a huge impact on future generations.

“Throughout our inquiry, it was worrying to hear that although the Government may be ambitious when it comes to reducing carbon emissions, it is not putting the policies in place which are needed to achieve those targets.

“We need to see the Government put its words into actions. The Government's own projections suggest that the UK is not currently on track to meet its current emission targets, let alone net zero by 2050.’’

Proven technology
Bean Beanland, chairman of the Ground Source Heat Pump Association said:  “The GSHPA welcomes the Science & Technology Committee’s report which underlines the important contribution that heat pumps will make to the decarbonisation of heat and cooling in pursuit of net zero by 2050. The all-party Commons Committee echoes the views of the Committee on Climate Change, the National Infrastructure Commission and National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios 2019. This consistency of message is vital in itself. 

“Specifically, we are pleased that the Commons Committee has urged the Government not to delay further the tightening up of Building Regulations to reflect both the reduction in the carbon intensity of grid electricity and the tighter emissions standards that are necessary for homes in a fabric-first approach.

“As well as wanting to see Building Regulations that better deliver the low carbon homes of the future, the GSHPA urges the Government to bring in a new support framework for low carbon heating beyond 2021, including a capital grant for the installation of heat pumps, with a target of 1 million installations a year by 2035. It is also necessary for Government to recognise that the energy efficiency retrofit of existing homes is a national infrastructure priority, and to bring forward polices to facilitate this. Ground source heat pumps are a long-term infrastructural investment. They are a proven, efficient and low emissions technology that will deliver heating and cooling to households and businesses at the lowest operating cost, and that will contribute to important improvements to urban air quality.

“Notwithstanding the value of any properly managed large-scale trials of heat pumps to build the evidence base required for long-term policy decisions and to build public confidence, Government must act now to encourage immediate investment in the heat pump sector by both industry and the consumer in order to meet short term decarbonisation goals. Any delay just makes the mountain that much harder to climb in the future.”
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