Pollution Probe Releases New Paper: Decarbonizing Residential Heating
The vast majority of energy used in Canadian buildings is for heating, and natural gas is the most common heating fuel, especially in dense urban areas.
The decarbonization of space heating in Canada will present major challenges, given the deeply embedded natural gas infrastructures and incumbent actors, extremely cold winter temperatures seen in many parts of the country, and the need to maintain accessibility, affordability and reliability of heating services.
Electrification with heat pumps is the most common low-carbon solution promoted, but the effects on peak electricity demand, especially in areas with cold winters, could lead to major cost increases and will be technically and politically difficult.
Other potential solutions include low-carbon gases such as renewable natural gas (RNG) and hydrogen; a hybrid solution is likely to be the most successful in areas with cold winters.