We've launched our first ever Future Energy Scenarios (FES): Bridging the gap to net zero report. This is a collaborative view from across and beyond the energy industry, focussed on recommending actions to progress the UK towards its net zero 2050 target.
Laura Sandys CBE, guest editor of the report, explains more about this work and how industry needs to work together to reduce uncertainty about the future and deliver net zero.
In June 2019 the UK Government set an ambitious target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This makes a significant change to many people’s calculations, that have previously been based on an 80% reduction in emissions from 1990 levels - a goal that to be frank gave people some wiggle room.
This important legally binding mandate will demand wholesale and deliberate change across industry. For that change to happen, it is important that there is a shift in focus, from what could happen in the future of energy, to what needs to happen now to meet this challenging goal by 2050.
This is where FES: Bridging the Gap comes in. This project aims to identify the areas that potentially have a significant impact on reaching our targets, that are the least well evidenced in terms of what that prize might be, but need action in the near future to realise the potential benefits, risks and opportunities.
From social media and film to workshops, we have trialled different ways of collaborating to build new areas of consensus on the future of energy. Over five months we’ve worked with stakeholders from across and beyond the energy industry to look at three specific topics of strategic importance to net zero, and to come up with a set of recommendations. Those three topics are:
Bioenergy in a net zero world
How electric vehicles (EVs) can facilitate greater growth of renewable generation
Managing peak electric heat demand
You can find out more about the recommendations on each topic by reading our one-page infographic and the report itself. As well as topic focussed actions, a key recommendation is that we need a common ‘whole society’ definition of what net zero means, so we are all clear what we are working towards.
This is just the start of the conversation and we need people from across all different sectors of industry to get involved – not just by talking but by committing to actions in these key areas. It is only by working together that we can achieve the progress needed to deliver a totally decarbonised future for the UK.
The report is available to download, and you can view our one-page infographic below. We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments - email us at [email protected]. Look out for our Defining Net Zero thought piece in the next few weeks which will pick up some of the actions from the report.
Laura Sandys CBE
Chair and guest editor, FES Bridging the Gap