Robert Lea writes on The Times website that a new report by the National Grid says that the target will be missed if ministers focus only on decarbonising the energy and transport sectors and neglect efforts to change consumer behaviour and the way homes are heated. The consumer needs greater understanding of their energy use impacts.
UK’s net zero carbon targets need immediate action, says National Grid
Britain will fail to hit its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 if it relies on a steady transformation of its industrial and consumer economy, according to National Grid.
In its Future Energy Scenarios report, the Grid says that three of the four road maps to achieving the goal could work — but only if immediate action is taken.
With the caveat that the report has not taken account of the pandemic, it says the target will be missed if ministers focus only on decarbonising the energy and transport sectors and neglect efforts to change consumer behaviour and the way homes are heated. National Grid says that along with more offshore wind farms and carbon-capture schemes, there will need to be more than 11 million electric vehicles on British roads by 2030 and more than 30 million by 2040.
It also says that natural gas boilers in homes must be abolished and replaced with heat pumps, with as many eight million homes actively managing their heating demands by storing heat.
Mark Herring, head of strategy at National Grid, said: “Consumers need greater understanding of how their energy use impacts on the wider [power] system and how changes to their lifestyle have an impact on net zero ambitions.”