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Towards 2050 Net Zero Carbon Infrastructure: A Critical Review of Key Decarbonisation Challenges in the Domestic Heating Sector in the UK


One of the most challenging sectors to meet “Net Zero emissions” target by 2050 in the UK is the domestic heating sector. This paper provides a comprehensive literature review of the main challenges of heating systems transition to low carbon technologies in which three distinct categories of challenges are discussed. The first challenge is of decarbonizing heat at the supply side, considering specifically the difficulties in integrating hydrogen as a low-carbon heating substitute to the dominant natural gas. The next challenge is of decarbonizing heat at the demand side, and research into the difficulties of retrofitting the existing UK housing stock, of digitalizing heating energy systems, as well as ensuring both retrofits and digitalization do not disproportionately affect vulnerable groups in society. The need for demonstrating innovative solutions to these challenges leads to the final focus, which is the challenge of modeling and demonstrating future energy systems heating scenarios. This work concludes with recommendations for the energy research community and policy makers to tackle urgent challenges facing the decarbonization of the UK heating sector.

Funding source: This work has been funded by EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI) (grant number: EP/ P01173/1).
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: United Kingdom

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