Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland recently published the National Heat Study, a comprehensive analysis of the options for reaching net zero emissions from the heating sector by 2050. Comprising a series of technical reports analysing heat supply and use across all sectors, the study provides key insights and proposed actions to decarbonise the sector. Crucially it stresses the need for early and urgent action.
The National Heat Study aims to provide a rigorous and comprehensive analysis of the options to reduce CO2 emissions associated with heating in Ireland. The SEAI commissioned Element Energy and Ricardo Energy and Environment to work with SEAI on the study. The project was carried out in close collaboration with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. As well as contributing to national policy, the findings also supported Ireland’s second submission to the EU of a National Comprehensive Assessment of the Potential for Efficient Heating and Cooling, as required by Article 14 of the Energy Efficiency Directive. The data, assumptions and outcomes of the National Heat Study are detailed in eight technical reports (Figure 1). The project leaves SEAI with an enhanced modelling and analysis capability to continue providing insights and tackling further work. It has enabled a comprehensive stakeholder engagement that has delivered insights and information and started many new and important discussions. It also provides a detailed set of data and information to inform broader research efforts in Ireland.
Using the National Energy Modelling Framework (NEMF), developed by SEAI, the analysis models four separate pathways to get to net zero emissions from heat energy use by 2050 and compares these to a Baseline scenario. Each scenario represents a different energy system context and approach to decarbonisation.
The summary report sets out the key insights from the scenario modelling developed via the NEMF. It details the challenges policymakers face across sectors and technologies and outlines the actions and decisions they can take now to deliver on the Climate Action legislation ambition. The report also identifies some areas that require immediate further investigation now and it highlights areas where there are interdependencies across policy goals.
The summary report is available here.