In the spotlight: UK Net Zero Strategy latest

03 Nov 21

The PM published his Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener policy paper on 19th October 2021.

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In the wake of COP26, the publication of the Net Zero Strategy could hardly have been timelier. By setting out the road map to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the Government has reinforced its aim to be a world leader in tackling global climate change.

With an almost 50% reduction in the UK’s greenhouse gases since 1990, the third carbon budget set out for the period 2018 to 2022 has already been met and exceeded. This reduction will be increased over the next three carbon budgets, to 51%, 68% and 78% by 2027, 2030 and 2037, respectively.

However, with the Committee for Climate Change suggesting the UK will not meet these targets without more challenging measures, are we truly on target to achieve a net zero carbon economy by 2050?

The PM published his Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener policy paper on 19th October 2021. This details the policies and proposals put forward to realise the decarbonisation pathway to net zero. As with the 10-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and the Energy White Paper, both published at the end of 2020, the focus of this Strategy is on fully decarbonising the UK power system by 2035. But with a move away from fossil fuels, and a greater demand for electricity expected across the economy, how can new buildings and developments be made net zero carbon ready?

At present, the use of heat pump technology is considered the way forward, with the Government seeking to enable the installation of 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028. As the power supply moves away from fossil fuels, reducing demand for electricity within the built environment will be of great importance if the UK’s power system is to avoid becoming over-burdened.

Energy efficient building fabric, employing high levels of insulation and air tightness, will be required to minimise energy consumption related to space heating within new buildings. Energy efficient fittings will be key to further minimising demand, whilst the employment of low- and zero-carbon technologies, such as heat pumps and solar panels, has the potential to provide a means of generating electricity in-situ.

Energy management technology, such as energy storage and demand-side response systems, will also become increasingly necessary in new buildings and developments. This will aid consumers by smoothing potential future energy price spikes and prevent the National Grid from becoming over-burdened. This is particularly relevant in light of the UK’s pledge to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 in favour of electric alternatives to move towards a zero-carbon transport sector.

For advice on how to ensure your development is fit for this zero-carbon future, please contact us at Iceni Futures for more information about our expertise in this area.

Grace Wileman Futures Consultant,Iceni Futures