Can future UK housing meet its energy needs from zero or low carbon sources?

Conference paper


Griffiths, Oliver 2010. Can future UK housing meet its energy needs from zero or low carbon sources? Proceedings of Advances in Computing and Technology, (AC&T) The School of Computing and Technology 5th Annual Conference, University of East London, pp. 171-179
AuthorsGriffiths, Oliver
TypeConference paper
Abstract

From 2016 every new home in Britain must supply all of its energy needs from zero or low
carbon (ZLC) energy sources such as solar and wind - under the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH)
Level 6. This is not just the heating of the space and the water but also the lighting, cooking and all of
the energy sapping devices such as TVs and fridges that are so much a feature of modern life. Social
landlords must comply a full year earlier, in 2015. Fortunately, this does not represent a standing start
for many developers as ‗Merton Rules‘ have been widely adopted by local authorities since 2003.
These typically require 10% of the energy use in the home (excluding lighting, appliances etc) to
come from onsite renewable resources. In practice even this level has proved pretty challenging. This
paper uses studies of Merton Rule-style policies, and case histories from around Britain and Europe,
to evaluate the main ZLC technologies and their potential to deliver onsite energy cost-effectively.
The paper also examines the experience of low energy homes in North European climates to identify
how much electricity and heat a Code Level 6 home is likely to consume and how much can
realistically be harvested onsite. The author concludes that the CSH Level 6 policy is impractical
using renewable energy harvested onsite, and only becomes practicable when energy can be imported
from elsewhere. The policy condemns developers to investing in ineffective technologies such as
wind or solar that are highly inefficient and expensive when deployed on a micro-scale in urban areas;
or other technologies of questionable environmental benefit. It also condemns local authorities to an
unnecessary and highly complex assessment and monitoring regime. The author argues that a far
simpler and more logical solution is to allow wind and solar energy also to be harvested offsite–
through large-scale, developer-funded, farms. These are relatively cheap, zero carbon in operation;
easy to regulate; and can in principle supply any development from the very largest to individual
units.

KeywordsMerton; renewables; Code for Sustainable Homes; onsite energy; ZLC
Year2010
ConferenceProceedings of Advances in Computing and Technology, (AC&T) The School of Computing and Technology 5th Annual Conference, University of East London, pp
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-ND
Publication dates
Print2010
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Sep 2010
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10552/988
Additional information

Citation:
Griffiths, O. (2010) ‘Can future UK housing meet its energy needs from zero or low carbon sources?’, Proceedings of Advances in Computing and Technology, (AC&T) The School of Computing and Technology 5th Annual Conference, University of East London, pp.171-179..

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