Bri­tain urged to beat car­bon goal by two decades

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Ed Clowes

BRI­TAIN’S power net­work could re­move more car­bon than it emits into the at­mos­phere by 2033 if it em­braces re­new­able en­ergy and tech that cap­tures and stores green­house gases, the Na­tional Grid has said.

The coun­try is edg­ing closer to a more sus­tain­able fu­ture and could go car­bon-neg­a­tive in 13 years, the Grid said. It is hop­ing for a dras­tic re­duc­tion in elec­tric­ity use at home through ef­fi­ciency mea­sures and a drop-off in car­bon emis­sions from road trans­port as more driv­ers use elec­tric ve­hi­cles, cy­cle, or get the bus and train.

In­tro­duc­ing more low-car­bon elec­tric­ity from re­new­able sources such as wind farms and scrap­ping nat­u­ral gas boil­ers will be es­sen­tial to achiev­ing net zero emis­sions, the com­pany also says, as will fo­cus­ing on car­bon cap­ture tech­nol­ogy which re­moves pol­lu­tants from the air and stores them un­der­ground or else­where.

Hit­ting this tar­get by 2033 would put the Na­tional Grid nearly two decades ahead of min­is­ters’ am­bi­tion to go net zero by 2050. It will re­quire an ex­tra 30m elec­tric ve­hi­cles on the road, putting them in 80pc of homes, with nearly 8m tra­di­tional boil­ers re­placed by next-gen­er­a­tion heat pumps that draw warmth from the out­side air or ground.

Un­der a more pes­simistic sce­nario, the Grid sug­gests that it might fail to reach net zero by 2050 if sweep­ing changes are not im­ple­mented soon.

Mark Her­ring, of Na­tional Grid, said: “Across all sce­nar­ios, we see growth in re­new­able en­ergy gen­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing sig­nif­i­cant ex­pan­sion in in­stalled off­shore wind ca­pac­ity.”

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