To respond to the Chairman's first question, I will explain the context. As he said, there are four scenarios considered in the heat study, one looking at decarbonised gas, another concentrating on the deployment of electrification, another being a balanced view of that, and, as the Chair mentioned, a rapid progress scenario, which sees fast and large-scale deployment of readily available technologies. The rapid progress scenario is ambitious in exceeding current climate action plan actions. That has been recognised within the ambitious climate action plan, which called out the national heat study in a number of actions as it would inform the future 2022 climate action plan. Those discussions are already in place. We have been working closely with our colleagues within our parent Department and other Departments, such as the Departments of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Transport, and Housing, Local Government and Heritage, on the outcomes from the heat study.
I refer to the point made about the rapid progress scenario. The key recommendation for action coming from the heat study, and this goes back to points made by Mr. Walsh and a number of Deputies and Senators, is that we cannot afford to lose time. The rapid progress scenario is essentially based on the deployment of technologies that are available today and can be rolled out at scale and at pace. These include heat pumps. One can already see a significant target within the climate action plan to deliver those and the strong potential of district heating to deliver to the residential sector across the country.
On the second question, the study has identified strong potential, much more than previously identified, for district heating. The national heat study took almost two years to complete and more than 50 experts contributed to the delivery of the report. There was significant engagement with stakeholders across the heat and energy sectors and the report provides a comprehensive view. The district heating piece looked at the geospatial identification of where the potential might be at an initial stage. It has identified where there is very high potential, medium potential and where there are areas that need to be investigated more. District heating is an obvious no-regrets policy movement forward in terms of urban centres and even some of the larger towns around the country. It has fed directly into the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment's co-ordinated steering group with all stakeholders in the area, which is examining what the barriers are and what requirements are needed to deploy district heating at a faster pace than previously.
That includes all elements from financial to planning and regulatory to the actual utility around installation of pipelines etc. I cannot emphasise enough how much district heating is strongly supported by the national heat study. There are actions in play, however, and it is expected those actions will be very clearly delineated. Obviously, it is not for me to say and, as my colleagues said, policy is set through the Department, but I believe it is more than likely the intention is to identify these actions in the next action plan.
In terms of the legislative barrier, to go back to my earlier point of the heat study and the B2 target, the heat study is saying that it is very important to have efficiency measures rolled out at scale. Reducing our energy demands is of significant importance but we continue to grow our emissions due to economic recovery, population growth and a range of factors. We also need to consider how to eliminate fossil fuels out of our heating sector to reach net zero by 2050. There is a strong recommendation from the heat study effectively to announce or state a timetable for the removal of fossil fuels from the different sectors such as residential, industry, commercial, public buildings etc. Different levels of timelines are identified in the heat study. Obviously, this is a study to inform policy, so different levels of timelines are identified, but in the rapid progress, they are fairly imminent.
Again, that is something for discussion and consideration in the Department. It is taking into consideration the timelines that have been identified through the heat study and considering how those can be borne out through a timetable for the elimination of fossil fuels. Obviously, however, there are things to consider such as, if there is a timetable, what the market lag would be in areas that are identified for district heating. Can we eliminate fossil fuel oil and gas boilers within a timeframe that allows people to be able to avail of district heating zones or else will they be given significant lag time to be able to install heat pumps, for example? All of that will be taken into consideration as policy decisions emerge in terms of that timetable.