Research and tech body backs hybrid heating

New report by Energy Systems Catapult calls for increased nuclear and renewable generation

Hybrid heating systems, which combine heat pumps with gas boilers, could help manage peaks in electricity demand, according to a new report by Energy Systems Catapult, the government-backed energy and decarbonisation body.

Innovating to net zero 2024, published on 16 April, says the deployment of nuclear and renewable generation – as well as the electrification of heat and transport – must occur at ‘rapid pace’, and ‘much faster’ than in the past decade.

It adds that electrifying heat in most buildings remains the ‘most cost-effective pathway to net zero’.

However, meeting the need for electricity at times of low renewable generation and most demand will determine the cost of the future energy system, and is the ‘biggest system innovation challenge’ for net zero.

Different sources and vectors of energy must be developed at different times to keep overall system cost down, the report says.

The modelling finds value in the use of hybrid heating as the energy system transitions.