Heating and cooling will be tough for Concord to switch to 100% renewable
As Concord looks at ways to have 100% renewable energy in the entire city, it faces three areas that need to transition: electricity, which will be hard, and transportation, which will be harder. And then there’s the really hard part: Heating and cooling, known in the industry as “thermal energy.”
“The challenge of transitioning to renewable thermal technologies is that the conversion must take place on a building-by-building basis. There is no ‘thermal grid’ equivalent to the electricity grid, meaning that building owners cannot simply plug into a system that is carrying renewable thermal heat,” is how the first draft of the city’s Renewable Energy Goal Strategic Plan puts it.
That 55-page draft, the latest step in the city’s goal of having 100% renewable energy by 2050, went to the City Council two weeks ago and is being parceled out among city departments for consideration. It is full of recommendations, some technical but most regulatory and procedural, and will be the topic of considerable discussion, including public hearings, in the months to come…..