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National Grid ESO has published its 2020 Future Energy Scenarios (FES), marking a significant shift as it replaces three of these scenarios with net zero compliant ones. Of these three new scenarios, two – Consumer Transformation and System Transformation – hit net zero by 2050 and the other – Leading the Way – achieves it in 2048. The only remaining scenario from 2019 – Steady Progression – still emits 258 MtCO2e in 2050, equivalent to a 68% reduction compared to 1990 levels. A new scenario framework – the level of societal change – was also included, but the impact of COVID-19 has not been factored into this year’s FES due to the full extent not becoming apparent until too late. It will be examined fully in 2021, the ESO confirmed. Four key messages were identified, one of which being that open data and digitalisation “underpin the whole system thinking required to achieve net zero”. This is “critical”, the ESO said, to navigating the increasing complexity at the lowest cost for consumers.

Current 27th July 2020 read more »

The operating firm for National Grid is predicting that the UK’s electricity grid could capture, offset or absorb more carbon than it emits by as early as 2033, if efforts to scale up renewable energy generation and carbon capture technologies are accelerated. Published today, the National Grid Electricity System Operator’s (ESO) latest Future Energy Scenarios report outlines four future scenarios for Great Britain’s energy systems – three of which would see the nation reach net-zero for or ahead of its legally binding 2050 deadline. In the “most stretching” scenario, the ESO and wider electric power sector would be able to deliver net-negative emissions within 13 years by rapidly scaling up the use of bioenergy and the installation of carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) technologies. By shifting from fossil fuel generation to biomass and bringing large-scale CCUS arrays online at all industrial clusters by 2030, along with hydrogen infrastructure, the report claims, the power sector could sequester 62 million tonnes of CO2e by mid-century. 70% of biomass facilities could create negative emissions in this scenario. At present, only two industrial clusters with hydrogen and CCUS capacity are due to come online within the next decade – the Humber project, spearheaded by Drax and Equinor, and HyNet North West, spearheaded by Cadent.

Edie 27th July 2020 read more »

“Immediate action” to promote cleaner, more efficient power will ensure the UK hits its 2050 net zero target and could even see electricity production emissions turn negative in 13 years if carbon capture and storage technologies are implemented, the National Grid has said. In a detailed report examining four “future energy scenarios”, three out of the four models indicated the UK could hit net zero by 2050 or earlier, but warned reductions in emissions from areas including transport were essential. A surge in new clean energy projects including the installation of 40GW of wind capacity, as well as new solar projects and bioenergy will significantly reduce emissions, while other changes, including carbon capture technologies, battery improvements and increased consumer flexibility will help plot a course towards an overall removal of more CO2 from the environment than is produced. A major move towards use of electric vehicles – charged at home during off-peak hours – would help balance the grid, the report said, while a shift away from use of gas boilers for home heating towards use of heat pumps, would also make for greater efficiencies and considerably lower fossil fuel emissions. By 2050, “the input energy required to heat an average house could drop to as little as a quarter of what it is today”, the report states, but it adds that “significant investment in low carbon electricity generation will be required across all net zero pathways”.

Independent 27th July 2020 read more »

Guardian 27th July 2020 read more »

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