The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that, from 2024, new buildings applying for a building warrant must use heating systems which produce zero direct GHG emissions at the point of use.
This analysis of direct, point-of-use greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with zero carbon heating technologies considered a range of technologies, including:
- Zero direct emission technologies, including direct electric heaters, electric storage heaters, electric boilers, solar thermal and solar thermal storage, heat pumps and heat networks.
- Biomass combustion.
- Hydrogen combustion and fuel cells.
- Direct emissions from direct electric heaters, electric storage heaters, electric boilers, solar thermal technologies, heat pumps, heat networks and fuel cells are found to be negligible.
- Biomass combustion and hydrogen combustion offer significant emissions savings compared to fossil fuel-based heating, but with varying levels of direct GHG emissions that are important to be aware of.
- A common theme across different technologies is a lack of data and research on direct emissions from both manufacturers and independent researchers; therefore, further research is needed to fill gaps and improve understanding.
- For biomass combustion for heating, there may be an important role for education and awareness raising. Information could be provided to operators/users around types of fuel and fuel quality and how these impact emissions.
- As well as supporting improved air quality, controls on fuel quality are likely to result in reduced GHG emissions.