Not all UK homes are connected to the gas grid, and those
that aren’t must find alternative means of supplying both space and water
heating. The fuel choices for off-grid homes are limited, with most relying on
kerosene (or home heating oil); a dirtier alternative to natural gas. This
results in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to over 7 million tonnes of CO2.
Therein lies an opportunity for renewable heating technologies to be
implemented, both to reduce these emissions, but to also reduce fossil fuel
The UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and
Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is looking to phase out the use of high-carbon
heating fuels during the 2020’s, and commissioned NNFCC to produce a report
looking at the potential of bioliquid fuels to meet the needs of the off-gas
grid community. The fuel options considered include vegetable oils, used
cooking oils, BioLPG (or biopropane), and biodiesel blends.
Over 1 million UK homes are heated with kerosene, and the
NNFCC report looked into the feasibility of converting these boilers to run on 100%
bioliquid fuels or blends of fossil fuels and bioliquids, such as 30% biodiesel
and 70% kerosene (a mix known as B30K). Other options include fuel switching
from fossil LPG to BioLPG, or installing new dedicated boilers to run on
bioliquids. In many cases, the technology already exists for the transition to
take place, such as switching from fossil LPG to BioLPG, and so the primary
barrier is feedstock availability. In other cases, technology barriers were
identified such as the specific requirements for heating systems to store and run
on different biodiesel blends. Working with partners Re:heat, NNFCC evaluated
the costs of converting from fossil-based heating to bioliquid-based heating
for a variety housing archetypes, taking into account the variability of
existing off-gas-grid heating systems. The required evidence for the analysis
was gathered through stakeholder interviews, a field study, scientific and
legislative literature, and a deployment model.
This report, alongside another from Element Energy, will be
used to advise BEIS on future approaches when deciding policy framework for
The report is available to read here.