2050 Net Zero target in the UK

The 2050 net zero target has its fair share of hurdles. The most concerning of which is how much it will cost. As we know, the public are concerned or even committed to tackling climate change though do not want to fund the shift to clean energy. Therefore, the issue of cost and funding is called into question. Well, the CCC have outlined what the UK needs to do in the 31 years between us and 2050. In 2017 the UK was responsible for 503 Metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (MMTCDE). The target aims to reach only 35MMTCDE. This will require a reduction in emissions by 93%! Therefore, they have stated that this move would require:

  • All cars in the UK to be electric or hydrogen.
  • Adopting power generation costs.
  • An upgrade to the national grid, to increase energy efficiency.
  • Transportation of Air and Water to start using biofuels or commit to carbon offsetting. Through either afforestation or carbon capture.
  • Adoption of electric resistive heating.
  • Drastically increasing home installation.
  • Completely transfer of heavy goods vehicles to either hydrogen power, electric power or a hybrid of the two.
  • The use of heat pumps across the whole of the UK to heat homes.


What can we learn from this?


Well, we may not know the actual costs for all of these changes, but we can predict that it will be a very expensive process. Our goal for the 2050 net zero target means that we will need to find adequate solutions to our current energy system. The need for renewables in the future will require a great deal of investments alone. So, what are the projections for the national grid? Well the screenshot below shows a graph taken from a BBC Energy Briefing released near the beginning of September of this year.

Along with this graph the brief discusses the role that renewables will have in the future. This heavy investment is also expected without reaching the target. You will also notice that there is no information on the aforementioned carbon capture or afforestation or even nuclear power. This is mostly due to the uncertain future of both of these solutions. As for nuclear power we know that the nuclear build programme has had several schemes abandoned for now (take a look at their website for more information) and public opinion is often negative.

So, what do you think, will we meet the 2050 net zero target? Are you optimistic about our goal, or are you pessimistic?

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