Net Zero Review: “The reality is we are not doing enough”
On Saturday 2 November, the UK government announced the launch of a Net-Zero Review, which will assess how the UK can transition to a low-carbon economy and maximise economic growth opportunities.
Responding to the announcement, Steve Shine, Anesco executive chairman, said:
“We welcome the news that the government is looking at how best to accelerate and deliver the target of net zero. However, without a clear strategy and importantly accountability, we will not meet the original clean growth targets - let alone net zero.
“In the last year, we have only seen around a 2.5% increase in renewables and the reality is we are not doing enough. The removal of fossil fuels from heat and transport systems will see electricity demands increasing significantly. Even greater levels of renewable generation will be needed, along with the electricity infrastructure to support them. At the present rate of growth, it’s simply not going to happen. It’s time for government to show its teeth and pursue positive action, not just give lip-service to this vital issue.”
Tackling residential and commercial emissions
Steve continued: “The residential sector is rightly in the spotlight and presents a huge opportunity. Rather than switching the most inefficient homes to a better boiler and adding installation, we should be removing oil and gas and installing heat pumps, solar and storage technologies to make these properties a showcase.
“The new home initiative for no fossil fuels from 2025 is very good, but we should also be legislating for renewable generation, storage and electric vehicle points for all new homes. This may increase the capital cost per home, but there would be substantial energy and carbon savings for the homeowner, which could help them become carbon neutral or even negative.
“When it comes to businesses, pledging £315 million to support businesses with high energy use to cut their bills and emissions needs to be matched with carbon targets and financial penalties. Corporates may say the right thing, but unless it saves them money in the short term, how likely are they really to do it?
“Overall, we hope the government comes out of this review with a strategic and well thought through roadmap for how we will achieve net zero. This is our opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for future generations, let’s make it a positive one.”
Established in Reading in 2010, Anesco is the UK market leader for energy storage. The company has developed more than 100 solar farms to date, while its renewables operation and maintenance arm has nearly 1GW of renewable energy under management.