Is the UK on track to meet its ’net zero ‘targets?

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49272934 – solar panels with wind turbines and electricity pylon at sunset. clean energy concept.

The COP 26 climate jamboree has been and gone, and the BBC looks at some of the energy numbers as the UK government pursues its net zero obsession. One obvious and increasing problem is the erratic deficiency of wind and solar power at various times in every 24-hour period, requiring either massive, expensive energy storage capacity or acceptance of power gaps once gas power stations are removed from the system, or most likely both. Complaining about expensive gas, only to propose something yet more costly which doesn’t even generate its own power, lacks economic or any other sense. Nuclear is jogging along in the background but won’t be centre stage any time soon, if ever.
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The UK has committed to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero by 2050, BBC News.

Net zero is the point at which the country is taking as much of these climate-changing gases out of the atmosphere as it is putting in.

As part of this promise, the government has a target to cut emissions by 78% by 2035, compared with 1990 levels.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) – a group of experts that advises the government – calls the net zero strategy „ambitious and comprehensive“ but says the UK government needs to „strengthen delivery“ and agree tougher policies.

Power generation

In 2021, Boris Johnson set a target for all of the UK’s electricity to come from clean sources by 2035.

Successive governments have been relatively successful in cutting emissions from energy – they fell by 40% between 1990 and 2019, with a big chunk of this coming from closing coal-fired power stations and spending money on solar, wind and nuclear energy.

The CCC says the government still needs to publish a strategy for phasing out all gas-fired power stations by 2035, and work to remove fossil fuel subsidies.

The UK is a world leader in offshore wind. It has capacity of about 10GW, which the government has promised to increase to 50GW by 2030. This would generate enough energy to power every home in the UK.

The increase is achievable, but energy companies are worried the price they are paid for wind energy is dropping rapidly -squeezing their revenues which could limit further investment.

There would also need to be much more energy storage for times when the wind does not blow.

In April 2022, the government published a UK Energy Security Strategy aimed at moving away from „expensive fossil fuel prices set by global markets we cannot control“.

As well as expanding renewable energy it has a new commitment on nuclear energy – 24GW by 2050.

Full article here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

June 18, 2022, by oldbrew

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