New report outlines plan for zero-carbon gas grid

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A REPORT which sets out a detailed plan to deliver a zero-carbon gas grid has been launched by Wales & West Utilities and Energy Networks Association.

The company, which runs the gas networks across Wales and the south west of England, is committed to decarbonising the gas grid to help meet the UK and Welsh Government’s respective net zero targets.

Graham Edwards, Wales & West Utilities Chief Executive, said at the report launch:

“The UK is making significant progress in decarbonising the energy system and the scale and pace is set to increase as the UK continues to tackle the climate emergency.

“Cutting emissions from heating has historically been complicated which is why I am delighted Navigant’s report shows pathways to deliver low carbon heating for 23 million homes and businesses and getting us to net zero.

“We’ve pledged to deliver a net zero-ready gas network by 2035 and are preparing the gas network to be ready for green gases, like biomethane and hydrogen.

“This report sets out a plan that networks – both gas and electricity – can implement to ensure that we can heat homes, power businesses and keep the lights on in an affordable, reliable and sustainable way.”

The report ‘Pathways to Net Zero’ has been delivered by leading global energy consultancy, Navigant, and was commissioned by Energy Networks Association.

It is the first output from Energy Networks Association’s Gas Decarbonisation Pathways Project – a major industry initiative that is building on the world-leading work that the gas networks have been undertaking to use new technology to build a low cost, low carbon network.

Independently reviewed by Imperial College, the report sets out a detailed plan to deliver a zero carbon gas grid, with clear technical, operational and regulatory actions that need to take place to achieve it.

It makes clear that by following a Pathway where we use more low carbon and renewable gases, around £13bn a year could be saved, compared to a pathway that relies on electricity alone.

By transforming the gas network it will ensure that the move to Net Zero is as done as smoothly and efficiently as possible, while minimising the impact on people’s lives, from the way we heat our homes to the way we travel around the country.

Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Rural Affairs and Energy commented on the report: “Just as Wales was at the forefront of the last industrial revolution, we have the ambition and ingenuity to be a leader in the low carbon revolution.

“I congratulate Wales & West Utilities and the Energy Networks Association for the ingenuity and hard work put into creating this report outlining a viable pathway for decarbonised gas, which can help deliver on our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.”