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In 2010 it was suggested that heat demand could be met by switching from gas to an all-electric solution, and by 2050 heat will no longer be provided by individual gas boilers. Building the extra electrical generating capacity needed to meet peak heat demand is simply not affordable.
To facilitate this, would be the equivalent of 60 new nuclear reactors, 100 interconnectors and 60,000 wind turbines, plus Solar PV on every UK home.
Essentially it would involve doubling the UK’s electricity network.
A complete switch from gas to electric would cost around £12,000 per household, as each home would be required to replace boilers, pipes, radiators and a comparable system. A move that would be prohibitive from a cost point of view.
1. The current gas grid infrastructure in the UK, supplies the energy to heat 85% of homes and meet 50% of the non-transport primary energy needs.
2. Gas has kept the nation warm for the past 200 years.
3. The current gas grid pipework could go around the world – 6 times!
4. A gas boiler is sold every 15 seconds in the UK.
These figures demonstrate how vital, and how extensive gas is, in the UK.
What about the environment?
It is estimated gas will remain the primary heating fuel beyond the 2040’s. We do however need to continue to establish a pathway to decarbonise heat. Gas fires, such as those in the Charlton & Jenrick range have dramatically improved in efficiency in recent years, and so they use a great deal less gas for the same amount of heat, compared to older, less efficient fires. This continual focus on efficiency is not only helping save the environment, but is having a positive impact on peoples finances too.
The introduction of green gas, provided by suppliers like ecotricity is a way to make the use of gas, well – greener! They use gas from the breakdown of grass, rather amazingly, which is put into the gas grid. They currently have a number of gasmills in development to further expand this rather amazing idea. Green gas is sustainable as it uses grass, which regrows, unlike fossil fuels, which is only depleting over time.
Below is a diagram, which shows how green gas works.