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'Immediate action' required by government to meet carbon neutral ambition

27 July 2020

The National Grid has published a report on the potential for achieving carbon neutral status, which could happen as early as 2033, it states.

However, this relies on the increased use carbon capture technology and electric vehicles, along with removing millions of gas boilers from facilities and homes around the UK, according to The Guardian.

Its report includes a number of scenarios required to meet net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which the UK government pledged to achieve last year.

The majority of the National Grid's most credible pathways to achieving net zero rely heavily on increasing the use of low carbon technology, said its head of strategy Mark Herring.

A minimum of 3GW of additional windpower capacity and 14GW of solar power is required to be added to the National Grid over the next 20 years to meet the government's ambition, according to the report.

Although both wind and solar power have been successfully used to boost the contribution of renewable energy to the grid, the use of carbon capture, heat pumps and electric vehicles will need significant investment, education and the upskilling of the UK's workforce.

Significant changes will be required within the energy strategies of estates and facilities to reduce emissions and contribute to achieving net zero carbon emissions. 

National Grid spoke to more than 600 industry experts to compile the report, said Mr Herring, who also referred to the "significant challenges" to meet both the report's and the government's net zero ambitions.

Mr Herring stated that "immediate action" is required from the government to form the necessary energy policies to reduce carbon emissions.

He further stated that the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown and subsequent reduction in emissions had not been factored into the report, but "many of the areas highlighted will be crucial in a green recovery from the pandemic, particularly improving energy efficiency across all sectors and significant investment in low carbon electricity generation," said Mr Herring.

Those wishing to read The Guardian article can do so here.

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