In a bid to reduce carbon emissions and help mitigate climate change, the UK legally bound itself to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

And since homes and non-residential buildings account for 30% of UK greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from energy used to heat the home and hot water, phasing out fossil fuel broilers was a key part of the country’s strategy. In the newest government report, it became official that the boilers would not be permitted to be installed in newly constructed homes starting in 2025.

This would mean, however, that the Britons would have to look at more greener options for heating their houses and buildings.

Previously, the nation used to look at two different options: electric heat pumps and hydrogen gas.

However, new information suggests that hydrogen is not as effective in reaching its goal and has thus been ruled out. 

UK left with electric heat pumps?

Before, the government and the energy sector had previously promoted hydrogen as a sensible substitute for the natural gas that is burned in boilers across the country and pumped through the national grid.

They even planned to hold trials in three towns: Whitby in Cheshire, Redcar in North Yorkshire, and Levenmouth in Fife, where multiple homes would be heated with hydrogen.

Some, however, thought the plan would fail because hydrogen would not solve the two primary problems in the energy sector today—cost and carbon emissions. Not only is producing hydrogen far more expensive than extracting natural gas, but there is also a shortage of “clean” hydrogen.

Dr. Jan Rosenow supported this view with his paper, “Is Heating Homes with Hydrogen Just a Dream? An Evidence Review”, in which he argued that widespread use of hydrogen is simply not justified.

He claimed that hydrogen is less efficient, less economic, and more resource-intensive than electric heat pumps.

With hydrogen eliminated from the picture, electric heat pumps may be the only alternative left for the UK to heat its citizens’ homes and structures.

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