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HVO proposed as 'drop-in' replacement

Data from an ongoing European project testing various renewable liquid fuel options across 100 sites, shows that Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) – a sustainable, fossil free fuel derived from waste – can provide a drop-in replacement for kerosene for oil heated homes.

OFTEC chief executive Paul Rose

OFTEC believes this means little or no modification of existing oil heating systems and tanks is required for use with HVO which is already available across the UK. It says the trials also show that HVO can be blended with heating oil in varying degrees without issue so could be seamlessly introduced to the domestic heating market.

However, OFTEC says these findings directly contradict those of a report produced for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) by bioeconomy consultants NNFCC, which fails to consider HVO for use in heat.

OFTEC chief executive Paul Rose comments: “Outcomes of the renewable liquid fuel trials across Europe so far are highly encouraging and the use of HVO in particular directly addresses the compatibility issues raised in the NNFCC report to BEIS.

“We have working proof that the right type of renewable liquid fuel can offer a simple, cost effective, drop-in solution for rural homes which are often particularly expensive and challenging to decarbonise.”

OFTEC states HVO, commonly known as renewable or biodiesel, is produced by hydroprocessing used cooking oils (UCOs). Equally, any new renewable liquid fuel introduced to the market would be manufactured from recycled waste materials or crop residues and certified as fully sustainable, so there is no adverse impact on the environment.

Supply has also been cited as an issue with renewable liquid fuels for heat but OFTEC says that as demand for these fuels is increasing, so is the supply of waste materials used for manufacture.

It adds that biodiesel is already used in large quantities for road transport and, as electric vehicles become more common, surplus raw material can be diverted to produce renewable heating oil. New manufacturing innovations are also likely to revolutionise the industry, further increasing supply and driving down costs.

Paul Rose says: “Limited supplies of HVO are currently on the market and, with clear policy support, industry will have the confidence to invest in expanding production further.

“UK government needs to fully consider this real-world evidence on renewable liquid fuels and re-think heat policy to support this option alongside the range of low carbon heat solutions currently backed.

“Broadening out the choices available to homeowners is the only way to create a competitive market and reduce cost, which is currently the main barrier to consumer take up of clean heat solutions.”

28 July 2020

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