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Achieving Net-zero – Challenge of delivering zero-carbon energy systems

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Last year, the UK became the first major economy to pass a Net-Zero emissions law requiring that the UK bring all greenhouse gas emissions t

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Last year, the UK became the first major economy to pass a Net-Zero emissions law requiring that the UK bring all greenhouse gas emissions to Net-Zero by 2050. The new law poses major economic, scientific and engineering challenges, and a complete transformation of the way we generate and use energy, as well as several hundred billion pounds of investment. It will require:

  1. Decarbonisation of all transport – affecting more than 20 million vehicles

  2. Decarbonisation of heating – likely requiring a refresh of all domestic and commercial facilities and innovations in electrical heat pumps or hydrogen gas grids

  3. Decarbonising the electrical supply, double it in size - requiring massive upscaling of wind, solar and bio-fuels, as well as perhaps novel modular nuclear reactors.

  4. Restricting carbon emission to very difficult applications such as ship and air transport, industrial processes and plastics manufacture.

Nevertheless, this step change in technology will bring about significant opportunities for investment, such as funding the roll-out of a nation-wide EV charging infrastructure, huge growth in offshore wind and nuclear power generation, as well as massive advances in energy storage and recovery, including battery, compressed-air, thermal and hydrogen and ammonia energy storage.

Liveryman Tony Roulstone will present some of the challenges and opportunities for Engineering and for the City of London that come out of the new UK Net-Zero carbon emissions target, based on his involvement in a Royal Society project on energy storage and renewables - followed by an opportunity for networking and informal discussion with experts in zero carbon infrastructure

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