UK Government’s Carbon Reduction Strategy is ‘Missing a Trick’
Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK - A leading low-carbon energy expert has warned that the UK Government’s strategy for lowering carbon emissions from buildings is missing a trick in terms of easily-reached, cost-effective reductions.
Richard Griffin, chief executive of LowC Communities Ltd - the Lincolnshire-based low-carbon energy specialist - has claimed that by encouraging building owners to produce renewable heat – i.e. heating and hot water generated by renewable sources such as biomass fuels like waste wood – the UK is failing to secure much-greater levels of carbon savings that are easily within reach.
“Although I applaud any initiatives that increase the uptake of renewable energy technologies in this country, by only focussing on producing heat, we really are missing a golden opportunity to make significant reductions in operational carbon emissions.” said Griffin.
“The real carbon value is in electricity - the one commodity that we’re all using more and more of, as our daily lives increasingly rely on technology.
“Put simply, there’s almost three times as much carbon associated with electricity consumption as compared to heat. The 2010 Building Regulations deem electricity from a grid connection to emit 0.517 kg of CO2 per kWh – compared to 0.198 kg for heat produced from natural gas.
“By generating electricity from renewable fuels and capturing any waste heat produced, we can significantly boost this country’s progress in reducing carbon emissions and reduce the need for us to fall back onto heavily-subsidised nuclear power to meet our obligations under international emissions targets.”
Griffin firmly believes that one of the solutions is to utilise renewable CHP (combined heat and power) technology, powered by readily-available, British-grown fuel such as rapeseed oil. Using this technology, renewable fuel is used to power an engine that generates electricity and the heat produced is recovered for use in supplying heating and hot water.
He continued: “This renewable CHP technology has already proven itself in an ever-increasing number of buildings here in the UK. What’s more, it’s cost effective to run as it also generates income from the Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) system and, should the forthcoming Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) legislation prove positive, then the heat produced may also qualify for additional payments.
“Although there has been a lot of interest in solar PV technology to produce electricity, it’s an expensive option – particularly as it relies on the Feed-in Tariff, a large, Government-backed subsidy in order for building owners to justify the high capital cost.
“Rapeseed Oil is a pure and natural alternative and it can be grown as a break crop using set-aside land – so it really does have no impact on the food chain – other than give the farming industry a much-needed boost.”
Renewable CHP has been successfully implemented by LowC Communities in an ever-growing number of buildings in the UK – most recently in a co-location building in Shefford, Bedfordshire – where a nursery, community building and office accommodation are all being supplied from a rapeseed oil-powered CHP system.
For further information, please visit www.lowc.co.uk
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LowC Communities Ltd
LowC is a privately-owned company that specialises in the design, construction and operation of low-carbon technologies in the built environment. Bringing together a team with an unrivalled expertise that spans building physics, low-carbon design, sustainable construction, renewable energy supply, operation and maintenance – the company is delivering low-carbon solutions in operation, not just on the drawing board.
Based in Stamford, Lincolnshire, LowC’s clients include: developers, property owners, private investors and government bodies across all sectors – both public and private. They operate in four core business areas: consulting, technologies, construction and energy services.
For more details, please visit: http://www.lowc.co.uk