Changing how we heat our homes is more complicated than it sounds. Currently, the two frontrunners are electric heat pumps and hydrogen, with each offering potential benefits and challenges.
For example, ‘blue’ hydrogen, which is commonly produced from natural gas, cannot play a significant role without a greater roll out of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) infrastructure, and the availability of affordable ‘green’ hydrogen is still some way off. Heat pumps, on the other hand, involve an upfront cost, which means many people may need financial support to make the switch, but they are much more efficient than traditional gas boilers.
In December 2020, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) recommended a scale up of both low carbon electricity and low carbon hydrogen on the pathway to net zero emissions, however. Let’s consider the scale of development of each technology so far.