17 February

BEIS net zero independent review

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BEIS Secretary of State published an independent review on the government’s new approach to ensuring that its net zero target is achieved. The main emphasis throughout focused on: maximum economic growth, supporting the UK’s energy security, and minimising the costs… Read more

BEIS Secretary of State published an independent review on the government’s new approach to ensuring that its net zero target is achieved. The main emphasis throughout focused on: maximum economic growth, supporting the UK’s energy security, and minimising the costs born by businesses and consumers. There are many points to consider when it comes to evaluating how we should collectively take action inspired by the new regimes stipulated within the review. Some valuable questions to consider, include:

1. How does net zero enable us to meet our economic growth target of 2.5% a year?

2. What opportunities are there for new/amended measures to stimulate or facilitate the transition to net zero in a way that is pro-growth and/or pro-business?

3. How should we balance our priorities to maintaining energy security with our commitments to delivering net zero by 2050? These questions encourage us to look holistically between our economy, energy security and thinking in closer detail at how businesses will be affected throughout the process too.

It’s important for businesses to consider the following questions:

1. What growth benefits/opportunities have you had, or do you envisage having, from the net zero transition?

2. What barriers do you face in decarbonising your business and its operations?

3. Looking at the international market in your sector, what green opportunities seem to be nascent or growing?

4. For clean power industry: what barriers to entry have you found in deploying new plant and technologies?

These are just some of the questions that are outlined within the review, meaning there is plenty of space for us to actively think and acknowledge new systems that we implement into individual businesses infrastructures to achieve our net zero by 2050.

How can we work towards net zero

Net zero is described as “the growth opportunity of the 21st century”, according to Chris Skidmore, in his Mission Zero review. There are huge benefits associated with investing in net zero, which outweigh the costs and can materially improve people’s lives – now and in the future. The target of achieving net zero by 2050 is scientifically supported too, creating a real opportunity to improve both the economy and public living. So how can what types of actions can be made to achieve this target?

The ideation and planning opportunities that come out of answering the pressing questions within the review, will enable businesses and government agencies to put into action steps to work towards the net zero goal. However, it’s also important to be aware of the obstacles on the path to net zero.

Potential obstacles on the net zero pathway

Within the government’s strategy to achieving net zero, there is a promise to successfully decarbonise until 2037 in a cost effective method. This will certainly help us to create a net zero energy system by 2050. But the analysis from the Skidmore review has implied that any delay to pursuing this will could interfere with achieving net zero by 2050. It’s therefore vital that a clear pathway and plan is set in place for the industry to be fully decarbonised. Greater investments should be made, scaling the clean energy industry and hydrogen sector to facilitate decarbonisation. Solar continues to rise in popularity, with developing technology that is aiding this in addition to electrolytic green hydrogen.

Economic opportunities

“Net zero will drive widespread changes across the global economy”.

There is sufficient evidence to suggest that the UK’s economy will be enhanced by net zero goals. Within the review the underpinning statement was “there is no future economy but a green economy”, alluding to the economic opportunities available through businesses adapting and evolving to facilitate a greener future. The UK’s renewable industry has significant potential to grow, with further investments towards technology, new wind generation and solar energy. The sector is expected to receive even more support in the future, especially since the government removed the red tape in win for onshore wind.

What can we expect from net zero?

The review highlights that the net zero targets can positively impact our economic climate, insisting that the UK must act and decisively seize opportunities. Net zero will drive a change in many of our sectors – from the way we generate electricity, to how we heat our homes, travel, produce food and use land. We’ll also experience greater differences in our manufacturing processes and consumer behaviours. This will lead to innovative services coming into place, with new skills and education required to fulfil these duties too. The future is inherently uncertain – but it’s fair to suggest that we can expect to see more technological developments and business models that will support the net zero targets, ensuring a greener tomorrow isn’t out of reach by 2050.

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