Worcester Bosch’s Martyn Bridges has been talking about the future of oil. The company’s Director of Technical Communication and Product Management spoke to Pham News about HVO fuel and oil-fired boilers. Read on to learn more about his predictions.
“The most sensible and suitable fuel source”
Bridges said his company had been working hard to convince the Government about modern alternatives for heating current oil-fired boilers including HVO. This is a carbon-free alternative to traditional domestic heating oil. He described it as “the most sensible and suitable fuel source” for replacing current heating oil, but said the Government hadn’t shown a great deal of enthusiasm about it so far. He said there appeared to be much resistance about moving towards anything that wasn’t a “green oil”.
He also said uncertainty remained about the future of oil due to continuous delays to the Heat and Buildings Strategy and disagreements about how net-zero should be financed. He says the industry is struggling to make plans whilst it waits for the Heat and Buildings Strategy to be unveiled. Bridges also said expense and investment required for compliance with Government plans was likely to have a big impact on those who are on the gas grid. Approximately 1.5 million homes are still relying on oil. This is around 5% of homes with central heating installed. He says the Government plans to eliminate domestic heating oil, which means all oil-fired boilers may need to be replaced.
Can oil be eliminated completely?
Bridges says eliminating oil as a fuel source doesn’t seem very sensible due to the fact most homes relying on oil aren’t delivering the best energy performance possible. He said oil homes are often difficult to heat and are frequently found in remote, rural areas. According to Bridges, many of these homes often lack insulation too, unlike homes linked to the gas grid. He described plans to eliminate oil as “too simplistic” but predicted that the Government would eventually come to his conclusion themselves and are likely to consider alternatives to the heating oil currently in use.
Bridges said that his firm had been experimenting with HVO, a carbon-free alternative to domestic heating oil. He suspects that a blend of HVO and something like a hybrid heating system would be a good introduction to the solutions of this type. He predicts that sufficient amounts of HVO will be available to replace the four million tonnes of domestic heating oil currently in use once the market grows. For the coming years, he expects a mix of HVO and domestic oil to be used to power homes and suggests that a hybrid system could be used to plug the HVO shortfall.
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