Renewable energy could generate 50% of Scots space heating within 20 years

Dave Pearson, Director, Star Renewable Energy
Dave Pearson, Director, Star Renewable Energy.

Renewable sources could provide nearly half of the energy used to heat Europe’s homes by 2040, according to a new international market intelligence report,.

Tightening existing regulations could lower end-user natural gas demand by half within the next 20 to 25 years, and reduce residential carbon dioxide emissions by more than 75% by 2050, according to a new study from the IHS Energy business advisory service.

This reduction would move Europe closer to achieving the European Union (EU) 2030 and 2050 climate targets. The heating sector is the focus of increased attention from policy makers following the release of the first European Heating and Cooling Strategy on February 16. 

The second-generation renewable energy revolution  for heating and transport – after the ‘easy’ win in first-generation electricity production – will be among the issues considered at SCOTLAND’S RENEWABLE FUTURE conference, 26 May 2016.

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According to the IHS Energy Study Beyond the Flame: The Transformation of Europe’s Heat Sector, the share of renewable heat used in the residential sector could reach 49% by 2040, which is significant since heating and cooling accounts for almost half of European energy consumption and presents a major opportunity for greenhouse gas reductions, IHS said.

The majority of residential energy consumption in Europe is used to heat space and water.

Catherine Robinson, senior director at IHS Energy, commented: “At the current pace of change in the heat sector, Europe will fall short of the 2030 and 2050 goals, but more rapid change is possible.

“Our analysis strongly suggests that existing technology can transform Europe’s heat sector—significantly increasing the share of low-cost renewable heat— in the next 15 years by using existing legislation to introduce hybrid heating systems, which combine a high-efficiency condensing gas boiler with an air-source heat pump.”

The study found that the development of these integrated hybrid systems may transform the provision of heat in the areas of Europe where gas is currently the dominant heating fuel.

Approximately 60% of the space heat provided by the heating system is provided by the heat pump, while the remaining 40% is provided by a high-efficiency condensing gas boiler. Hydrocarbons dominate heat provision in Europe with natural gas providing almost 50 percent of Europe’s heat. Europe’s heat supply is dominated by de-centralised heating in single family homes which make up 64 percent of European housing stock. These single family homes consume 65 percent of residential space and water heating demand, IHS said.

Deborah Mann, director at IHS Energy, added; ““The heat transformation would make a big difference in the countries that have a lot of gas heating, like the UK, Germany or France

“The key finding of our IHS analysis is that hybrid heating systems can directly replace most existing gas boilers without the need for significant building refurbishment, unlike standalone heat pumps. From an environmental standpoint, these hybrid systems can provide large-scale, cost-effective reductions in GHG emissions.”

Dave Pearson, Director, Star Energy, the Glasgow-based supplier of the Neat-pump  heat pump which is being installed by Glasgow Housing Association – is also due to speak at SCOTLAND’S RENEWABLE FUTURE conference, 26 May 2016 – along with Holyrood MPs from all the main parties in the newly-elected Scottish Parliament.

For more information: –

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