Sustainable Heat: Charting the Course for Decarbonisation

Sustainable Heat: Charting the Course for Decarbonisation

Key Highlights

  • Because heat accounts for approximately half of the world's energy consumption and 40% of its energy-related carbon emissions, heat decarbonisation is a key impediment to Net Zero. 
  • EU greenhouse gas emissions fell 20% from 1990 levels by 2020. To meet 2030 and beyond commitments, the yearly greenhouse gas emission reduction from 2005 to 2020 must be doubled.  
  • Although focused on climate change, heat decarbonisation offers other benefits. These include job creation and air quality improvement. 
  • West Sussex County Council outlined its heat decarbonisation initiative's first buildings to be modified, advancing its net zero carbon goal. The council may reduce its carbon footprint by replacing fossil fuels with heat pumps in 14 buildings as part of the plan. 


One of the major obstacles to achieving Net Zero is heat decarbonisation, and this is because nearly half of the world's energy consumption and 40% of its energy-related carbon emissions come from heat. 

Heating energy is considerable, so decarbonising it is crucial. Back in 2020, the EU reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from 1990 levels. But then, the annual greenhouse gas emission decrease from 2005 to 2020 must be doubled to reach 2030 and beyond targets. Energy efficiency and conservation, combined with rapid conversion to renewable and waste energy use in heating and cooling, decrease climate change and promote supply security; hence, faster implementation is essential. 

Heat Decarbonisation Benefits 

Heat decarbonisation has benefits beyond climate change, despite its environmental focus. Sustainable heating solutions have a positive ripple effect on society and the economy. With that, here are two benefits of heat decarbonisation: 

     Job creation - As heating methods become cleaner, new jobs can be created in the areas of making, installing, and maintaining low-carbon heating systems by 2035. 
    Improved air quality - Air pollution is increased by traditional heating techniques, especially coal and oil. Decarbonising heat reduces particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions, improving air quality and public health. 

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West Sussex County Council Makes Strides Towards Net Zero with Heat Decarbonisation Programme

Projects for heat decarbonisation started, and one of those is West Sussex County Council’s initiative. West Sussex County Council announced the first buildings to be upgraded as part of its ambitious heat decarbonisation initiative, advancing its net zero carbon aim. This countywide initiative promotes sustainable practices and leads by example to reduce public building carbon emissions. 

As part of the initiative, the council will be able to make adjustments to 14 of its buildings, such as replacing fossil fuels with heat pumps, thus lowering its carbon impact. 

Beyond Emissions: The Transformative Power of Heat Decarbonisation

Heat decarbonisation has several uses beyond just lowering emissions of greenhouse gases. This can lead to a more sustainable, rich, and equal future by making the switch to clean heating alternatives. With global cooperation on this initiative, more and more advantages will be available in the future as technology improves and costs decrease.

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