The US and EU energy landscapes still look very different. The US grid remains highly dependent on fossil fuels, with more than 60% of electricity generation coming from coal, gas or petroleum products. Besides, 5 million people still use liquid fuels for heating, mostly low-income people residing in mountainous or rural areas where no alternatives are possible. The housing stock and energy efficiency requirements are also very different from the ones in Europe – leading to a whole different dataset.
How do we reconcile social, economic and environmental issues in the context of the US heating oil industry?
In this episode, Dr Thomas Butcher (NORA) explains how the US heating oil industry has come to acknowledge that it needs to move towards decarbonisation while promoting energy efficiency and broader savings. Tom details how the liquid fuel industry is moving to biofuels, coming from crop residues and even yoghurt processing, while investing in continued affordability and environmental sustainability.
Tom is the Technical Director of the United States National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA). Tom leads a group providing research on liquid fuels and the technical support needed to develop a more efficient future for his industry. Tom has been investigating energy systems, air pollutant emissions, and the use of biofuels in boilers and furnaces for decades.