New service to track carbon intensity of heat hits market

Erda Energy has launched a weekly analysis of the carbon intensity of various heating technologies in the UK

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By Jonny Bairstow

Erda Energy has launched a service to track the carbon intensity of various heating technologies in the UK.

The clean energy solutions company is providing a weekly-updated analysis – it says although calculating the footprint of power generation is relatively straightforward, it is far more difficult for heat as neither total demand nor supply can be accurately measured.

It says this is made harder because the efficiency of devices varies widely, making it difficult to work out accurate carbon values.

Erda Energy’s new service draws on live data from its own system and research by the Carbon Trust and Northern Gas Networks.

As of yesterdayafternoon, the carbon intensity of gas was estimated to be the highest, at up to 248.6 grams of carbon emitted per kilo watt hour (gCO2/KWh), with combined heat and power (CHP) following at 221.2gCO2/KWh and hydrogen at up to 100.9gCO2/KWh.

Professor Alex Rogers from the Department of Computer Science at Oxford University, said: “The calculation of carbon intensity is critical to the debate when it comes to making choices about our future energy mix. In power those calculations are well established, are developing and are helping to drive carbon reduction.

“It’s great to see the emergence of these calculations in the heat sector – a sector which desperately needs decarbonisation and clarity on which technologies achieve that.”