From FORESIGHT Climate & Energy, Watt Matters is a podcast all about the energy transition and the shift to a decarbonised economy.
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The energy crisis put a spotlight on energy usage for British consumers as soaring bills dropped through letterboxes across the country. Renewable solutions can help tackle high prices, as well as lower emissions, and companies like Scottish Power are trying to roll these out.
Heat pumps, solar panels and other solutions offer healthier home environments, lower energy bills and higher home values, but the transition can be tricky. To get around this, companies need to be transparent and help consumers understand the benefits of renewable solutions.
On this week’s episode of Watt Matters, Chris Carberry, Smart Solutions Director at Scottish Power, joins Jan and David to discuss how companies can help households participate in the energy transition and ensure that no one is left behind.
Enjoy the show.
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Illustration: Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva.
What caught our eye this week:
Jan’s pick: Brewing beer with heat pumps – New Scientist
Chris’ pick: Heating on prescription scheme suggests fewer NHS visits
Dave’s pick: Lack of offshore wind in latest UK auction round
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The UK is often cited as a leader in the transition to a clean energy economy, even though some British public money still flows to oil and fossil gas projects overseas
Local community groups are often seen as being against renewable energy sites or other projects to support the energy transition. But there is a rise in different ownership and funding models that includes local residents who do want to support the quest for a decarbonised economy
The European Commission should include clean heat standards in its forthcoming Net Zero Industry Act to force industry and enable consumers to switch from fossil fuel boilers to lower-emitting heat pumps, concludes a new report from the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)
With significant buying power, corporations and businesses can support the development of energy efficiency measures faster than households
Changes need to be made to how electricity markets are managed so that they can handle the pace of the energy transition, but there is little consensus about what tweaks are actually required
As economic activity declined under the pandemic so did demand for electricity. Fossil fuel generation was squeezed off the grid by renewable energy projects with lower marginal costs. Fears that the higher proportion of fluctuating supply would destabilise power systems proved unfounded and grids remained stable. If renewables are to be tasked with keeping the grid secure, alternative mechanisms, already available, must be introduced soon
Decarbonisation of heating requires switching from systems and appliances that combust fossil fuels to those that rely on renewable energy. Nowhere is the switch more challenging to achieve for existing building stock than in the UK. If it can be done there, it can be done anywhere
No matter how much wind and solar power is generated, the energy transition cannot be achieved without a built-for-purpose electricity infrastructure. Gaps in the interconnections of Europe’s grid network and lack of capacity on the wires where it is needed most will halt green electrification of energy.
Network operators tasked with managing the steadily bigger swings in demand and supply that accompany greater uptake of solar and wind energy have had to choose between constraining clean generation, which adds to operating cost, or increasing grid capacity requiring capital expenditure. A less costly way is to buy system flexibility in a competitive but carefully coordinated process. Trials in areas of Britain challenged by grid constraints are producing encouraging results
Cities are taking the lead on the decarbonisation of district heating and cooling networks, with the use of heat pumps on the rise
Community groups trying to improve the green credentials of Edinburgh’s historic buildings, while battling lethargic public authorities and high upfront costs, are hoping small changes can make a big difference
A combination of low-carbon heating technologies and energy efficiency improvements is the obvious answer to decarbonise heating, says Jan Rosenow, Director of European programmes with the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)
Brexit, by excluding the UK from Europe’s carbon emissions trading system, has stripped British industry of the value of its carbon credits. Rescue options being considered by the UK government include linking back to the EU market, but also taking the risk of joining an immature multinational carbon trade cooperation