HVAC Investment Amongst Government’s Green Industrial Revolution
Industry chiefs have applauded the Government’s ten-point plan to drive a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’, by recognising the strategy as a ‘multi-faceted’ approach to decarbonisation and the climate crisis. And furthermore, the HVAC industry can play a central role over the next decade with an extensive roll-out of sustainable hydrogen gas production and a dramatic increase in domestic heat pump usage.
What is in the Government’s ten-point Green strategy?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently outlined the UK’s commitment to offset its carbon emissions entirely by 2050, via a ten-point Green strategy. The headline focus of the strategy was:
- Creating 250,000 so-called ‘Green jobs’ focused on reducing carbon emissions
- Creating a town 100% powered by hydrogen energy
- To install at least 600,000 heat pumps in domestic homes annually by 2028
- Quadrupling existing energy capacity created through offshore wind to 40GW by 2030.
- Re-think transport policy on-ground and in-air to support these sustainable developments
- Committed to introducing new funding mechanisms to make London a global centre for Green finance and developing clean technologies
- Green Homes Grant subsidy scheme to be extended for another twelve months to support energy efficiency improvements via insulation or heat pump installation.
The previous PM Theresa May made the net zero carbon commitment by 2050 and the implementation of heat pump technology is the first step in making homes and public buildings more energy efficient by the end of the decade. It is estimated that 50,000 jobs will be created in the sector by attempts to make use of the low carbon electricity produced by the heat pumps.
Increasing use of hydrogen energy in the UK
Demand for hydrogen gas to heat homes and meet industry needs, requires the realisation of 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity. This forms part of a £500m package set aside to trial various uses of hydrogen in domestic settings. A programme has been set out to first create a ‘hydrogen neighbourhood’ by 2023, then a village by 2025. Finally it is envisaged that the first ‘Hydrogen town’ – where hydrogen energy alone can support tens of thousands of homes – can be created by the end of the decade.
The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) agreed that retro-fitting existing homes in the UK was critical to meeting the net zero carbon targets, and hence welcomed the general approach of the Government’s ten-point strategy. This is particularly important given that the UK’s housing stock is considered to be amongst the “draughtiest in Europe”.
This wide-ranging package of Green measures was welcomed, although the UKGBC did comment that it wanted clarification on what portion of a £100 billion infrastructure budget set aside for the current parliament, was being used to support the work outlined to make UK homes more energy efficient.