Role of heating in achieving UK and COP21 targets discussed at Future Thermal Energy Conference

Published by Brian Coyle on

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An upcoming conference at Warwick University aims to tackle the political, technological and energy unknowns that laid ahead of the nation’s enthralling journey towards a full decarbonisation of heating by 2050, whilst looking at the more immediate challenge of ensuring all new investment in heat is zero carbon by 2035.

The “Future of Thermal Energy” conference targeted at business, large states, energy and university sectors is now open for registration at an early bird discount rate. The conference will be held at the University of Warwick on 10th and 11th October.

Stressing the importance of the UK’s government recently increased focus on decarbonising heat and its positive impact in driving forward investment on low carbon renewable energy, the conference will address the impact heating will have on whether the country is able to meet its 2020 and 2030 climate change goals, as well as the goals set out in COP21.

 Dave Pearson, Director of Star Renewable Energy, a conference sponsor, said, “The world must act now if it is to combat the issues surrounding carbon emissions. There are a number of fantastic government incentives in place at present, all designed to help business decarbonise before it becomes too late for the world’s governments to achieve their COP21 goals. The reality is that fossil fuel prices must hike up significantly. However, this would be due to taxation – rather than shortage of supply. The incentives are a carrot. They will be followed by a big stick so the smart folk will act now”.

 “Finding complex ways of burning gas or importing biomass is unlikely to meet these goals so we need to find new ways of delivering heat“.

 “Drammen, a city in Norway, reduced cost, carbon and particulate emissions by around 85% by deploying large water source heatpumps.  We have the know-how to switch to a low carbon, renewable source and harness the residual heat from both, natural surface water and air and industrial heat waste”.

 While heating consumes half of the UK’s energy and it is responsible for almost half of the greenhouse emissions, much of the efforts to cut carbon emissions down have been centered around renewable electricity generation, a sector that accounts for 20% of all energy consumed. Heating will need a radical overhaul if the country is to play its part in the global undertaking to limit temperature rises to 2 degrees C by reducing emissions by at least 80% by 2050.

 With a packed programme, hands-on tours and a stellar line-up of speakers including Jonathan Graham of the Association of Decentralised Energy (ADE), Thomas Nowak from EHPA, Joel Cardinal from the University of Warwick, Tim Rook formerly of EON and now BESA, Michael Moggeridge of Iceland heat team Mannvit, Steve Richmond of pipeline specialist REHAU, Trevor Wittaker from Aqualor and Dave Pearson from industrial heatpumps specialists Star Renewable Energy, the two-day conference  will receive contributions from a range of companies and industry bodies on a variety of opportunities for thermal energy to make the most of its potential as a key pillar of the future energy system but crucially under the theme of “2035 ready”.

“The reality is that we need to be compliant not just with our 2016 challenges but where the policy expects us to get to, and that doesn’t mean finding fancier ways to burn gas – it means complete decarbonisation of heat and power within a generation. Only then will be sustainable”, said Joel Cardinal, Head of Energy and Sustainability, The University of Warwick

 The topics that will be discussed will focus on the key energy- drivers from now until 2030, creating planned, linked-up district heating networks, heat pumps, CHP, biomass, thermal storage (both above and below ground), balancing supply and demand through switching to flexible renewable technology, as well as creating better links between heating and cooling – the only growing utility in the UK.

 The must-attend event for large users of heat will also provide practical advice on how to plan large projects, successful procurement and funding options.

 Supported by  ADE,  REHAU, University of Warwick, BESA, Star Renewable Energy, Mannvit, EHPA, CPC Civils, CIBSE, Coheat and Aqualor, a limited number of complimentary subsidised registrations are now available at an early bird rate of £95 +VAT . The normal price is £150 +VAT, and includes meals and overnight accommodation.