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Heat pumps with district heating for the UK's domestic heating: individual versus district level

Wang, Z; (2018) Heat pumps with district heating for the UK's domestic heating: individual versus district level. Energy Procedia , 149 pp. 354-362. 10.1016/j.egypro.2018.08.199. Green open access

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Abstract

The UK has set ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency and affordability, encourage renewable energy generation, and reduce dependency on imported fossil fuels. Heating is the most essential component of the UK’s current residential energy consumption, and it is mostly supplied through the direct burning of natural gas. With constantly changing market conditions and political regulatory frameworks, technology assessments and cost-effective planning strategies are critical for long-term energy and environmental policy designing. Electric heat pumps with decarbonised electricity are proposed as promising technologies that could replace gas heating and contribute to the UK’s future low-carbon heat mix. District heating has been transforming over generations in order to better utilise renewables or resources that otherwise would be wasted. Both technologies have been well developed, with abundant scientific research and industrial experiences in some European countries over the past few decades. However, the market shares of heat pumps and district heating networks are low in the UK. This paper explores empirical heat consumption from smart meter data in different types of dwellings in the UK and the role of heat pumps and district heating for different types of dwellings on different scales. This study investigates heat pumps in individual households versus district heating networks through a levelised cost model, to present their comparative environmental and economic advantages. This study shows that economies of scale arise in the UK’s district heating networks with large heat pumps, but the costs of heat are significantly higher than individual gas boilers.

Type: Article
Title: Heat pumps with district heating for the UK's domestic heating: individual versus district level
Event: 16th International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Dates: 09 September 2018 - 12 September 2018
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.egypro.2018.08.199
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2018.08.199
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: heat demand; heat pumps; district heating; levelised cost of heat
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10055945
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