In-depth reports on innovation to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in domestic and non-domestic buildings and the industrial sector.
Publication date: September 2012
This new analysis, additions to the range of Technology Innovation Needs Assessments (TINAs), examines the cost reduction and economic growth benefits of energy efficiency and carbon emissions reduction in domestic buildings, non-domestic buildings and the industrial sector, alongside the key hurdles which need to be overcome and how investment can best be channelled to ensure they reach their full potential.
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.
The energy used by non-domestic buildings accounts for approximately 18% of UK carbon emissions, while the buildings themselves are diverse in design and use. Innovation in the non-domestic buildings sector represents a significant opportunity to help meet the UK's GHG emissions targets, as well as providing value through avoided energy costs, amounting to savings of 86MtCO2 and c. £13bn by 2050. Innovation could help create export opportunities that could contribute an estimated £1.7bn to GDP to 2050.
Public sector support will be required to unlock this value, as there are significant market failures across the sector to overcome. Public sector support could provide most value in integrated design, where there are significant potential carbon savings and value from energy costs. There are also significant market failures impeding integrated design innovations, and the UK has a medium-high competitive advantage in the area.
The energy used by domestic buildings in the UK accounts for approximately 25% of the UK's total emissions. Innovation in the domestic buildings sector represents a significant opportunity to help meet the UK's greenhouse gas emissions targets as well as providing value through avoided energy costs, amounting to savings of 73MtCO2 and c. £16bn by 2050. Innovation could also help create export opportunities that could contribute an estimated £1.7bn to GDP to 2050.
Public sector support will be required to unlock this value, as there are significant market barriers across the sector to overcome. Public sector support could provide most value in building operation innovations - due to high value from energy savings - and in pre-construction and design innovations - where the UK is a world leader - due to high value and the presence of market barriers.
Direct emissions from UK Industries were responsible for approximately 25% of UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2008 and just under 20% of final energy consumed in the UK. Emissions abatement opportunities in UK industries offer tremendous potential to generate energy, save carbon and reduce cost of operations. The abatement potential in the key emitting industries in the UK is in the range of 270-500Mtonnes with cost savings of £17-32bn to 2050. Innovation is critical to enable deployment and reduce cost as the technology commercialises.
Public sector support for innovation is necessary to maintain UK industrial presence and competitiveness in the global market. Innovation will also boost the UK's share of global market demand and generate additional business value from these technologies. A number of potential public sector interventions have been identified based on value of emissions abatement, extent of market failure and opportunity to rely on others for innovation.
See further TINAs on low carbon technologies: heat, bioenergy, marine energy, electricity networks and storage, nuclear fission, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and hydrogen for transport.
For more details of the TINA Project see the Low Carbon Innovation Co-ordination Group website.
Read more about our work in low carbon technology innovation.