Data and insights
Every country has a different energy mix and building stock with its own specificities. In some cases, gases will play a very important role, for example for coal phase out, or in regions with old buildings. Where there is a gas connection, and supply can be decarbonised, that’s often the right way to go.
There is also the risk that we could slow down the transition for buildings by counting too much on electrification – electricity network reinforcements could take decades to complete. Switching between energy vectors for home heating can be costly, sometimes involving cumbersome renovations. In some old buildings, it would not even be feasible. Blending, district heating, hydrogen-ready boilers, CHP and fuel cells can all play a role in the cost-effective decarbonisation of buildings. These technologies offer job potential and, crucially, will help meet energy needs across different regions, communities and socioeconomic groups.
We carried out research on this in 2019 and found while people want to act on climate, they don’t want to change their heating system. Those using gas were the least likely to want to change. The solution to that is decarbonising the supply and just updating the appliances.