WHEN Boris Johnson claimed climate change was his number one priority, his father, Stanley, said he was speaking from the heart.
Having committed to hitting net-zero emissions by 2050, he has delayed politically contentious policy decisions on boilers and carbon taxes until the autumn – and the run-up to Glasgow’s COP26 climate jolly.
About 23 million homes are heated by natural gas and home energy use accounts for 15 per cent of the UK’s emissions. He has pledged to ban gas boilers from new homes by 2025 and new gas boilers from some 10 years later. However, the technology behind the alternatives – hydrogen and heat pumps – is in its infancy. Blue hydrogen, made from natural gas, has major safety issues and may be worse for emissions than continuing to burn gas.
Having, like Greta Thunberg, dropped out of Physics at the first opportunity, our glorious leaders may be unaware that according to the laws of thermodynamics, heat pumps are at their most efficient when the temperature difference between the heat source (the outside air or the ground) and the room being heated is small. This means heat pumps are quite effective in summer and rubbish in winter – yet another inconvenient truth!
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