The Committee on Climate Change continues to advise the UK government on its target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Talks centre around electrifying transport and industrial processes and generating “green hydrogen”.
As The Committee on Climate Change continues discussions with the UK on energy strategies to meet the net-zero target by 2050, they remain relatively quiet on the input of nuclear power.
What has been clear from these communications, however, is the support for renewable energy generation and burning of natural gas, using a combination of carbon capture and storage technology to soak up the CO2.
There are also big plans to electrify transport, heating, and industrial processes which would reduce the amount of gas and oil burned, while almost doubling the amount of electricity required on the national grid. This would create a need for new large scale batteries in cars and electric heat pumps to power homes and factories. Thes batteries would need to be built with the capacity to be powered by renewables and store large quantities of energy to cover extended periods of low wind and shorter daylight hours.
Alongside plans for large scale electrification, the committee has also discussed propositions to make “green hydrogen”, a low-carbon fuel which has almost three times the energy density of petrol or diesel when burned. Producing “green hydrogen” would require a lot of electricity, and many discussions are taking place to determine whether renewables can generate enough energy to produce this low-carbon fuel while continuing to feed the rising demand elsewhere.
As talks of a Sizewell nuclear plant in Suffolk are underway this month, certain organisations continue to argue that the focus should turn to nuclear power, as without it, reaching net-zero emissions within the next 30 years may be extremely difficult.
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