North East Chamber of Commerce event explores for the regions net zero journey

A North East Chamber of Commerce event explored how businesses across the North East are addressing the journey to net zero.

The Net Zero Performance knowledge event saw businesses discuss the opportunities and challenges around net zero, and provided a platform to review progress made in the region, as well as plans for fuelling the future.

Jim Cardwell, head of distribution system operation policy at Northern Powergrid, shared how the company is facilitating an energy system fit for the future and how they’re supporting decarbonisation in the region. Jim said: “Flexibility first will enable us to meet increased connection needs most efficiently.

“Our distribution system operation business unit is about running a more flexible and dynamic operation, it helps us to manage more complex power flows in a more sustainable way.”

Jim shared how the company is providing connections and actions to tackle transmission congestion and said that working with local authorities is a major channel for local decarbonisation.

He said: “We have taken a place-based, local-level approach to decarbonisation, as well as supporting publicly funded decarbonisation schemes to support an increasingly dynamic electrified world.”

Steve Scrimshaw, Vice President UK&I at Siemens Energy, spoke about supporting the energy transition through renewables. Steve said: “Decarbonisation is the challenge of our generation. Those immediately before us failed to tackle it, for those who come after us it will be too late to address it.

“Net zero is multiple, not incremental – while we scale up renewables, we also need to invest in transmission to be able to connect this new, renewable generation to our grid, whilst the emerging hydrogen industry needs to grow 10,000 times in a decade if we are to hit our 10GW by the 2030 target. Net zero is a team sport – collaboration is the only way to deliver.”

To help bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, the UK has made a series of ambitious pledges.

The changes being made nationally include: generating all electricity from clean sources by 2035, e.g., from wind, solar and nuclear projects; banning new petrol and diesel cars from 2030; and using carbon capture to remove between 20 and 30 million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2030.

Presentations were followed by a Q&A session with the speakers, with topics including decarbonising the grid, devolution, and what businesses would like to see from government on net zero policies.

The Net Zero Performance knowledge event took place on 13 November at Teesside University and was sponsored by Esh Group.

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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