TINAs: Examining the potential of bioenergy, heat pumps, heat networks and heat storage

This new analysis, under the Technology Innovation Needs Assessments (TINAs), delves into bioenergy, heat pumps, heat networks and heat storage. It examines the commercial potential and key economic benefits of these technologies to the UK, alongside the key hurdles which need to be overcome and how investment can best be channelled to ensure they their full potential.

We need to understand where best to invest in the low carbon arena to help spur on growth in our green economy. This new analysis on heat and bio energy will help us to do just that.

Greg Barker, Energy and Climate Change Minister

We very much welcome the publication of these two reports. Technology and innovation are key to stimulating market growth and realising the economic benefits of energy and resource efficiency in support of our wider low carbon and climate change ambitions.

Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy Enterprise and Tourism, Scottish Government

The work has been undertaken by the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG), which is made up of a range of different bodies including the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Carbon Trust, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and other organisations with significant low carbon innovation interests.

The TINA analytical framework was developed and implemented by the Carbon Trust with contributions from all core LCICG members as well as input from numerous other expert individuals and organisations.

Key findings of the Technology Innovation Needs Assessments (TINAs)


Space and water heating (excluding industrial process heat) account for about a quarter of UK energy consumption today, with demand of approximately 550-600 TWh per year. This TINA focuses on heat pumps, heat networks and heat storage as three key heat technologies that could play a key role in meeting UK and global heat demand in an emissions constrained future. Analysis suggests that these technologies could deliver anywhere from one-third to almost the entire UK heat demand by 2050. We estimate potential 2050 deployments levels of 70-240GW (100-340TWh) for heat pumps, 10-95GW (20-200TWh) for heat networks, and 6-190GW for heat storage.

Innovation in these heat technologies could reduce UK energy system costs by £14-66 billion to 2050, with heat storage also offering additional value by enabling other system adjustments. Innovation can also help create a UK industry with the potential to add £2-12 billion to UK GDP to 2050. Significant private sector investment in innovation, catalysed by public sector support where there are market failures, can deliver the bulk of these benefits with strong value for money.


Bioenergy could provide upwards of a tenth of UK total primary energy supply by 2050 and can be supplied as heat, power, liquid transport fuel and biomethane. Achieving optimal deployment, sustainably and at lowest cost, will require significant innovation on advanced conversion technologies and their feedstocks.

Innovation in bioenergy has the potential to reduce UK energy system costs by £42bn (£6-101bn) by 2050. International business development is calculated to provide further economic value to the UK of £19 (6-33) bn. Significant market barriers are identified which could restrict the UK from realising these domestic savings and international markets.

Highest priority is identified for woody/grassy crops with higher yields on marginal land, advanced biofuels demonstration, proof of integrated gasification systems at scale, and high efficiency biopower systems that are robust to a variety of feedstocks and ready for CCS. 

View the reports