UK needs tougher policies and greater public awareness to achieve zero emissions, report says

A support vessel is seen alongside a wind turbine at the Walney Extension offshore wind farm operated by Orsted off Blackpool, Britain September 5, 2018. REUTERS / Phil Noble / File Photo

LONDON, July 12 (Reuters) – Britain must introduce stricter policies to make residential heating more efficient and consumers must reduce their energy use to meet the national goal of net zero emissions by the middle of the century, the National Grid (NG.L) said in a report released Monday.

The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), which distributes electricity across the country, modeled different scenarios in its report, three showing how Britain could meet its target in 2050 or sooner and a fourth missing it. .

A multi-stakeholder group of lawmakers also said last week that the government needs to do more to engage the public and should release policy plans on how it intends to meet its goal of net zero emissions. Read more

Under the various National Grid scenarios, Britain could have up to 37.4 million electric vehicles on the road by 2050, and road transport energy demand could fall by 60%. Britain could also have negative emissions from power generation by 2034, if carbon capture were included.

Green hydrogen – or gas produced by splitting water by electrolysis using wind, solar or other renewable energy source – could play a role in achieving net zero emissions, according to the researchers. scenarios of the report.

But the report said society must change as well.

In the most ambitious scenario, households in 2050 would lower their heating thermostats by 1 degree Celsius on average and more than 80% would charge their electric vehicles using off-peak power. The scenario also predicted no consumption of natural gas without carbon capture and storage after 2035.

“Consumers will need to better understand the impact of their energy use and lifestyle choices on the sustainability of our energy system,” said Matthew Wright, head of strategy and regulation at National Grid. ESO.

“Government policy will be the key to awareness and change,” he added.

Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Edmund Blair

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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