We’ve known for some time that our planet has been facing a climate battle of epic proportions. The increase of carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are causing the planet to warm, but warm at an unprecedented rate. So much so, new research is highlighting that the polar ice caps are melting six times faster than in the 1990s.
This glacial ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica, which is being caused by the build-up of greenhouse gases is not only causing the sea levels to rise but do so at such a speed that it is tracking at the worst-case climate warming scenario as set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Regrettably, rising seas levels are one of the most dangerous long-term impacts of the climate crisis with a projected 400 million people potentially unprotected from coastal flooding each year by the end of the century.
Such damage, uncertainty and displacement is a problem every country, in some shape or form will be impacted by – it is just a matter of time. That is why every nation must do their bit to beat the climate crisis. The UK is no different and the energy networks are leading the way.
For decades the energy networks have been building new systems and processes to ensure the country can draw more and more of its energy from renewable sources therefore reducing the carbon it produces through cooking, heating and transporting. This has been done through private investment by the energy networks of nearly £4,000 for every household in the country. A further £1,600 is being invested right now under the current price control.
This has already led to Britain generating a third of its electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar farms that have been connected to energy networks, helping reduce UK carbon emissions to their lowest level since 1888. Hydro plants and alternative gas sources such as hydrogen and biomethane have also engineered resulting in over 100 green gas production plants being added to the grid with innovative projects such as HyDeploy being given a running head start.
The Project, based at Keele University is a development blending natural gas with 20 percent hydrogen in what is the UK’s first live trail in reducing the amount of CO2 produced through heating and cooking. Hydrogen is being explored because, unlike natural gas, hydrogen produces water vapour as a by-product once ignited and not carbon. The importance of this study can’t be underestimated as heating and cooking with hydrogen could reduce CO2 emissions by as much as six million tonnes – the equivalent of taking 2.5 million cars off the road. Also, the gas networks carry three times as much energy as the electricity network but produces a third of the nation’s carbon dioxide.
The energy networks are also focusing on how the UK will transport itself in a greener, cleaner future. New infrastructure is being imagined to change the way we ‘re-fuel.’ New electric vehicle charging points with smart charging capabilities to balance the grid more efficiently are being installed nationwide while multiple hydrogen and biomethane refuel points are being planted up and down the country for HGVs and buses that will benefit from these gas that are rich in energy.
The climate crisis is not going away anytime soon. The melting ice caps, rising seas levels and thick smog seen in many large cities across the globe are testament to this. However, every nation in the world holds the key to the climate change battle – they just need to do their bit. In the UK our energy networks are leading the charge to tackle the production of harmful outdoor air pollutants to help create a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future for us all. Now that’s a breath of fresh air.
For further information, please visit the Securing a Greener Future website at: https://securingagreenfuture.uk/
Notes to Editors
For further information, please contact:
- 07725 372758
About Securing a Green Future
The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the role energy network companies have to play in tackling the climate emergency by providing the infrastructure needed to decarbonise our economy. Find out more at:
Fast facts about the role Britain’s energy networks are playing to decarbonise our economy:
- A third of Britain’s electricity is now generated from renewable sources that have been connected to energy networks, helping reduce UK carbon emissions to their lowest level since 1888 (BEIS, CCC)
- Britain’s local electricity grids have connected the equivalent of ten Hinkley Point C power plants in the last ten years – over 30GW in total (BEIS)
- Nearly 100 green gas production plants are now connected across the country (ABDA) – green gas could be used to heat up to 15m homes by 2050 (Cadent)
- The UK economy will need to spend between 1-2% of its total wealth each year to reach Net Zero by 2050 (CCC)
- Great Britain could save up to £40bn by 2050 by creating a more innovative, flexible energy system (Imperial College)
- Nearly £4,000 has been invested for every household in GB grid infrastructure in the country since privatisation in 1990 – £100bn in total (Ofgem)
- Another £1,600 is being invested for every household right now, under the current price control (2013-2023) – £45bn in total (Ofgem)
- Private investment helps bring down bills – electricity network costs have fallen by almost a fifth since privatisation whilst £100bn has been invested (Ofgem)
About Energy Networks Association (ENA)
- Energy Networks Association represents the companies that are responsible for operating the ‘wires and pipes’ of Britain’s gas and electricity network infrastructure, serving over 30 million customers across the country