Policies for decarbonising residential heating in Switzerland and the UK at the time of a climate emergency

Heating contributes to around 50% of the final energy consumption in Switzerland and in the UK. About 75% of the heat supply in both countries is from fossil fuels leading to large CO2 emissions. The UK’s net-zero GHG emissions target by 2050 and the Swiss target of lowering 50% emissions by 2030 (relative to 1990) mean that heating in both countries must be rapidly decarbonised. Although technical solutions exist, there are many hurdles in decarbonising residential heating. The required changes are transformative with improvements to buildings, replacement of existing heating technologies and addition of new infrastructure. Policy measures therefore have a very important role to play in overcoming these hurdles.

This project looks to increase research power and create impact by building on nationally recognised expertise around sustainable heating policy at both Exeter and Geneva in order to build a new research relationship based around teaching and knowledge exchange alongside collaborative policy workshops in each country.

The project will analyse the existing policy measures (financial, fiscal, legislative) for decarbonising residential heating. Uptake of these measures and their impact on decarbonisation will be examined. The project will involve key policy actors and institutions to identify the success factors, problems and the lessons learnt around heat policies in both countries.

Participants

Prof. Martin Patel, University of Geneva, Institute for Environmental Sciences

Dr. Kapil Narula, University of Geneva, Institute for Environmental Sciences

Dr. Richard Lowes, University of Exeter, Energy Policy Group, Centre for Geography and Environmental Science, CLES

Dr. Bridget Woodman, University of Exeter, Energy Policy Group, Centre for Geography and Environmental Science, CLES