Today the UK’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) released their much anticipated report on achieving net zero emissions.
In a first of a kind report, E4tech and researchers from Imperial College London examined the UK’s progress towards an energy system that meets energy transition targets, also looking at which sectors and regions are making greatest progress. The report, commissioned by Drax, finds that progress in cleaning power generation is a bright spot, enabling industry, commercial buildings and potentially road transport to lower their impacts. However, sectors such as household heating, heavy duty vehicles and power system flexibility are holding back the transition.
The growth in energy demand for cooling from a warming planet and growing population is an enormous but mostly hidden issue. By the middle of the century global demand for cooling is predicted to exceed that for heating, yet the attention given to cooling – for buildings or cold chains – does not gain much attention. This is set to change as the first International Congress on Clean Cooling brings together companies, governments, financiers and researchers in Birmingham on 18th April to address the challenges and opportunities for cooling that is clean and affordable.
The challenge of integrating large amounts of intermittent cheap renewable electricity requires a transformation of the energy system. The use of demand-side response (DSR) from distributed sources in homes, shops and offices is a potential source of flexibility. Controlling loads interactively also allows convergence between the electricity, heat and mobility sectors and helps to build resilience. Small scale DSR is already widely used in some countries and – in a simple form – has been widely used in UK in the form of Economy 7 tariffs.
Change is a constant, but the energy sector – from power to oil & gas – is experiencing upheaval that is proving existential for some and lucrative for others. Climate change, geopolitics, renewables, primary resource costs and other factors are reshaping the energy sector. Some of those same challenges affect the automotive industry, whose CEOs are often to be heard saying that sector faces more change in the coming ten years than the past 100. Whatever your view of recent behaviour by automakers, spare a thought for an industry that is facing fundamental change, not only in the propulsion that it applies, but also amongst the customers it serves.