The UK’s decarbonisation success could provide the world with a replicable blueprint, a new report from SSE and KPMG has argued, although there is still more work to do at home. Building from the lessons learned in the UK, the report identifies five key principles that could help other countries to accelerate global decarbonisation. First among these is the implementation of binding, long-term targets backed by robust institutional structures, which would give investor confidence. The report used the UK’s Climate Change Act and related five-year Carbon Budgets as an example, claiming they having provided an effective governance framework while ensuring public accountability.
Current 7th June 2021 read more »
Analysis from Imperial College London finds that government’s headline figure to deliver 40GW of offshore wind by 2030 falls far short of levels required to decarbonise grid in line with UK’s net zero ambition. The UK will need roughly 108GW of offshore wind capacity by 2035 – more than 10 times current capacity – to achieve a net zero electricity system by the middle of the next decade, researchers from Imperial College London have warned. Analysis published this morning by the university’s Energy Futures Lab explores how the UK could achieve carbon neutral electricity system by 2035 and concludes the nation will need to drastically exceed the government’s headline target of delivering 40GW of offshore wind by 2030, while dramatically scaling up the number of grid-connected batteries that can help balance the grid across the country. Achieving a zero-carbon electricity grid by 2035 is widely acknowledged to be a critical milestone in the UK’s journey towards achieving a net zero emission economy by 2050. As such, the purpose of the research was to identify the most cost-effective way for the UK to deliver a zero emission grid.
Business Green 8th June 2021 read more »
We’re going to pay a high price for the green agenda. The Government is likely to demand homeowners replace gas boilers when they sell their houses. Right now, the path to net zero is unaffordable for most. Heat pumps offer great hope for domestic buildings, but the major challenge is persuading homeowners to install one in the first place. Of course, there are alternatives and heat pumps will only be part of the mix, but the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) modelled heat pump deployment under a pathway where the UK reaches net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It concluded that 19m heat pumps would need to be deployed in existing homes, excluding new build, by 2050. The CCC has calculated that Britain will need to ramp up to an annual installation rate of 1,149,000 heat pumps by 2030 to meet its emissions commitments and the Government committed in its 10-point Green Industrial Plan to install 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028. Approximately 240,000 heat pumps are operational in the UK right now, minuscule when compared with 26m fossil-fuel boilers already installed. They represent less than 1pc of all heating systems across the country. That’s because they are expensive. Air source heat pumps are priced between £7,000 and £14,000 while ground source heat pumps, which get heat from holes drilled into the ground, cost from £15,000 to £35,000. Costs are high because of the limited number of trained installers. Here lies the main problem that needs to be solved. Consumers are reticent to buy heat pumps because they are more expensive than their traditional boilers, but prices won’t come down to make them affordable until volumes are sufficient for mass production to bring down prices. Governments will have to force people into spending money or taxpayers will have to foot the bill. A similar situation is seen in the automotive sector, with Germany needing to solve this conundrum fast. Consumers are holding off on purchasing vehicles as they are unsure about new technology and it costs too much. This means carmakers are starved of the cashflows they need to invest in R&D and retool into the electric-vehicle world.
Telegraph 7th June 2021 read more »