2TWh of hydrogen and 37 million EVs: How can the UK reach net-zero emissions? The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO)’s latest Future Energy Scenarios (FES) report has outlined four potential scenarios for decarbonisation in the UK, three of which would see the UK reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Here, edie outlines what is required to meet the legally binding target. One of the primary aims for this iteration of the report was to highlight what steps could be taken that would enable the UK to meet the Sixth Carbon Budget, which mandates a reduction in emissions of 78% by 2035. Doing so would put the UK on course to reach its legally binding target of net-zero emissions by 2050. According to the ESO, three out of four future scenarios would enable the UK to reach net-zero by 2050 or sooner, and two would see it reach the Sixth Carbon Budget. According to the Climate Change Committee, who recommended the target, meeting the Budget would require all new cars, vans and replacement boilers to be zero-carbon in operation by the early 2030s. UK electricity production must then reach net-zero by 2035, in line with the National Grid ESO’s existing vision, and the majority of existing UK homes will need to be retrofitted in some way also. The UK is already on course to exceed its fifth carbon budget and the CCC had warned that more action was needed to meet the original Climate Change Act targets – let alone the updated, more ambitious net-zero aim. However, the National Grid ESO explains that an overhaul to societal norms and new infrastructure can help the UK meet its future carbon budgets and the net-zero target.
Edie 12th July 2021 read more »