Electrical infrastructure works have been completed to house 22 e-buses in Glasgow

Electrical infrastructure works have been completed to house 22 e-buses in Glasgow

22 new electric buses are to arrive on site ahead of COP26. Phase Two of major works at Caledonia depot is due for completion in summer 2022 to support 150 fully electric vehicles being built by Falkirk-based manufacturer  Alexander Dennis. They are expected at the newly transformed depot in batches over the next 18 months with the final buses entering service early in 2023 (35 single deck and 91 double deck are expected to run over 100,000 miles per week and replace the most polluting Euro III vehicles from the fleet).

With phased completion for the remainder of the work scheduled to take place across the next 12 months, the depot has been designed to accommodate and charge up to 300 EV buses on site – and will see the introduction of 150 electric buses over the next 18 months.

As we have seen, the future of e-mobility is built on rapid charging, and ensuring the charging infrastructure is in place to make this a possibility must be a priority. Our partnership with First Bus to bring versatile, convenient charging to the city of Glasgow puts us in a unique position ahead of COP26 later this year, to make a significant contribution to the discussions at the event, as well as positively impacting fleet owners across the UK. Our unique charging offering ensures fleet owners are able to effectively deploy and manage their e-fleets while serving cities of the future.

Michael Colijn, Chief Executive Officer at Heliox Group said

First Glasgow: a depot for e-buses

The depot transformation is being delivered thanks to over £63m of funding: First Bus is investing £35.6m into the project, while the Scottish Government’s Scottish Ultra Low Bus Scheme (SULEB) is funding a further £28.2m.

Glasgow’s Caledonia bus depot has reached a key milestone in its green transformation plans with the installation of 11 advanced rapid 150kW dual cable charging units. This first phase of work has been completed ahead of a new batch of 22 electric buses arriving at the depot ahead of COP26, and marks a significant step forward in First Bus’ plans to have a zero-emission fleet by 2035.

The state-of-the-art dual cable direct current rapid charging units have been supplied by Dutch rapid charging business Heliox and installed by Powersystems.

Each rapid charging station will be controlled via smart charging software to ensure that power is used in the most efficient way. This approach will help minimize the draw down from the national grid at peak times. The digital programming will also mean that each vehicle is fully charged, and the bus interiors are preheated, ready for drivers and customers from the moment the vehicles leave the depot. With an additional 69 rapid chargers to be installed in Phase Two, Caledonia depot will soon be able to charge 162 vehicles at one time.

Following completion, the adapted depot will have the capability to charge 89% of the depot’s electric bus fleet at the same time using smart charging software. First Bus’ long-term objective is to ensure that the site is fully prepared for the transition to a 100% zero-emission fleet. This will include opportunities for further on-site renewable energy generation and storage.Future of e-mobility relies on rapid charging

Janette Bell, Managing Director for First Bus UK said: «Innovative technology and electric infrastructure are key to minimising the UK’s carbon emissions, and so it’s fantastic to see this first step of our vision for the UK’s largest EV bus depot come to fruition. Our transition to a zero-emission fleet is a bold ambition, and at every stage First Bus is committed to transforming our business for the good of the environment. We’re proud to be putting our weight behind Scotland’s green ambitions and the completion of this first phase of works at Caledonia depot give us an exciting glimpse into the future of bus. To see this first EV charging station site completed and ready to go in Glasgow, just as the city prepares to host COP26 later this year, is a brilliant achievement.

Michael Colijn, Chief Executive Officer at Heliox Group said: “As we have seen, the future of e-mobility is built on rapid charging, and ensuring the charging infrastructure is in place to make this a possibility must be a priority. Our partnership with First Bus to bring versatile, convenient charging to the city of Glasgow puts us in a unique position ahead of COP26 later this year, to make a significant contribution to the discussions at the event, as well as positively impacting fleet owners across the UK. Our unique charging offering ensures fleet owners are able to effectively deploy and manage their e-fleets while serving cities of the future.”

Powersystems are actively powering the transition to a carbon free future in the UK transport sector. The high voltage specialist electrical engineering team have delivered electric infrastructure works for First Bus Glasgow at its Caledonia depot which is to become the UK’s largest Electric Vehicle (EV) charging hub, marking a significant step towards the bus operator’s net zero targets, as well as the UK’s wider ambitions.

Sir David Attenborough named COP26 People’s Advocate at UN climate change summit

Sir David Attenborough named COP26 People’s Advocate at UN climate change summit

  • Broadcaster and natural historian to work with the UK as host of COP26 to inspire action in the run up to the summit
  • Sir David will address world leaders and the public ahead of and at Glasgow in November
  • This appointment marks the pivotal moment of 6 months to go to COP26.

Sir David Attenborough becomes COP26 People’s Advocate for the UK’s Presidency of the UN climate change summit in Glasgow this November.

With six months to go before the UK brings world leaders together for key climate talks, the renowned natural historian and broadcaster will put forward the compelling case to global leaders, key decision makers and the public for why climate action matters, to evidence the progress underway, and to highlight the actions decision makers will need to take ahead of and at COP26.

He will address world leaders at major international events over the next six months, including the G7 Summit in Cornwall in June, to firmly put climate and the protection of nature at the top of their agenda, and he has also been invited to address world leaders and the public at the Glasgow Summit – the most important climate meeting since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

Sir David Attenborough has already inspired millions of people in the UK and around the world with his passion and knowledge to act on climate change and protect the planet for future generations. There is no better person to build momentum for further change as we approach the COP26 climate summit in November. I am hugely grateful to Sir David for agreeing to be our People’s Advocate.

On being appointed COP26 People’s Advocate, Sir David Attenborough said:

I am greatly honoured to be given the role of People’s Advocate. There could not be a more important moment that we should have international agreement. The epidemic has shown us how crucial it is to find agreement among nations if we are to solve such worldwide problems. But the problems that await us within the next 5 – 10 years are even greater. It is crucial that these meetings in Glasgow, COP26, have success, and that at last the nations will come together to solve the crippling problems that the world now faces.

Sir David has previously stressed the importance of COP26. Addressing the UN Security Council in February, on the invitation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he described COP26 as possibly “our last opportunity to make the necessary step-change” towards protecting the planet.

COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, said:

Climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity and the stakes could not be higher for our planet. The next decade will be make, or break, for cutting global emissions sufficiently to avoid the worst effects of climate change. That is why I am delighted to be working with Sir David, a hero for our country and our planet, to inspire action ahead of COP26.

The appointment comes as Alok Sharma is urging governments, international organisations, businesses, and civil society to accelerate bold pledges ahead of the summit, to put the world on a path to net zero emissions by mid-century.

Notes to editors:

  1. This year, the UK will host the UN climate change conference COP26, in Glasgow with our partners, Italy. This will provide an opportunity for the world to come together and commit to urgent action.
  2. As hosts of COP26, the UK is leading by example during this unprecedented time. Guided by science, we are investing in a green recovery which creates sustainable jobs and addresses the urgent and linked challenges of public health, climate change, and biodiversity loss.
  3. The UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire action ahead of COP26.
Calling all small businesses to lead the charge to net zero

Calling all small businesses to lead the charge to net zero

  • Prime Minister and Business and Energy Secretary will urge the millions of small businesses across the UK to lead the way on climate action as part of the UK’s drive to net zero
  • launch of the Together for our Planet Business Climate Leaders campaign supports small businesses to take their next steps in reducing emissions
  • campaign encourages small businesses to pledge to cut their emissions to net zero by 2050 or sooner while helping them grow, adapt and seize new opportunities

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will today (Friday 28 May) call on every small business in the UK to take small, practical steps to cut their emissions as part of the UK’s journey to net zero by 2050, in the run up to UN Climate Summit COP26 in Glasgow this November.

Together they will launch the Together for our Planet ‘Business Climate Leaders’ campaign, a new drive to encourage small and micro businesses to commit to cutting their emissions in half by 2030 and to net zero by 2050 or sooner through the new UK Business Climate Hub.

Small businesses can use the hub to find practical tools, resources and advice to understand their emissions and develop a plan to tackle them, as well as providing ideas for steps they can take.

Steps could include installing energy saving light bulbs, switching to electric vehicles and other cleaner forms of transport to reduce their carbon footprint, looking at environment-friendly packaging options, or introducing cycle to work schemes for employees.

The campaign will also provide small businesses with access to some of the UK’s biggest businesses – including NatWest, Google, Scottish Power and BT – and leading climate experts to support them in taking the simple and practical steps to protect the planet, and the benefits of future-proofing and growing a low carbon business. Partner support will include hosting a range of collaborative events throughout summer, creating a small business training programme on taking green actions, and using their high-profile digital channels to drive small business audiences to the climate hub.

Taking action on climate change will help businesses grow, seize new opportunities, create new jobs, encourage investment and adapt against the challenges of a changing planet, while reducing emissions can lower businesses’ running costs, save them money and attract new customers – ultimately helping them maintain a competitive advantage locally and globally.

Those who make a net zero commitment on the UK Business Climate Hub will be recognised by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign and will become ‘climate leaders’ – role-modelling and inspiring others in the community to find meaningful ways to take positive environmental action as we approach the global climate summit COP26 hosted in Glasgow this year.

As the UK’s 6 million small businesses make up 99% of the UK’s enterprises, employ 60% of the UK workforce and generate £2.2 trillion of revenue to the economy, it is crucial these enterprises take action and reduce their carbon footprint.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

Every step that a small business takes on their journey to net zero adds up – not only in protecting the health of the planet but also in future-proofing their business and encouraging new investment, new customers and new opportunities for growth.

We are providing the support and advice small businesses need to join us and become leaders in the fight against climate change.

To mark the launch of the campaign, the Prime Minister and the Business and Energy Secretary will meet small and micro companies from across the UK and its economy who have already made a net zero commitment.

Business & Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and as we transition to a green future, they will also the backbone of the UK tackling climate change.

There are huge opportunities for a small business to go green – not only playing their part in saving the planet from climate change but helping grow their business and ensuring it is fit for the future.

Simple changes could differentiate a business from the competition, attract new customers and investment and save them money on their running costs. That is why I am urging the nation’s small businesses to sign up to become business climate leaders and lead the charge in protecting the future of our planet.

COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, said:

We are at a critical point for our planet, and to safeguard its future we must act now to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C. To do this, we need action from all of society including those small businesses that play such a vital role in our daily lives. The world is moving to a greener, brighter future, so please: do not get left behind. Ahead of COP26 in November, join the hundreds that have already done so and become a business climate leader.

The UK’s Net Zero Business Champion Andrew Griffith said:

The UK business community has a unique opportunity to come together to tackle climate change. We all need to play our part, and as small businesses make up the majority of the UK’s business community it is critical that they get involved.

There is a need for practical guidance on the simple steps businesses can take reduce their carbon footprint and the Together for our Planet climate leaders campaign will help provide just that.

The launch of the government’s new campaign follows the UK’s world-leading success in ensuring the largest companies join the green revolution. The government is working with Net Zero Business Champion Andrew Griffith to encourage businesses of all sizes to make a formal net zero commitment. As of today, over 40 of the UK’s FTSE 100 companies signed up to the United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign, cementing the UK’s position as the leader of the international business community in going green and tackling climate change.

With less than 6 months to go before the UK brings world leaders together for the crucial UN climate change summit COP26 in Glasgow this November, the UK government will continue to call for action for companies to join the Race to Zero and establish plans to meet their commitments.

Chief Executive Officer of NatWest Group Alison Rose said:

As the leading bank in the UK for businesses, we want to encourage, enable and lead the way in helping small businesses transition to a net zero carbon economy. From our recent SME Recovery Report, we know SMEs have the opportunity to help the UK meet its net zero targets by reducing their carbon footprint by 80 MtCO2e by 2030 through more sustainable business operating models.

As COP26 Principal Banking Partner, we’re proud to support the Together for our Planet Business Climate Leaders campaign and partner with the government on this important initiative, especially in the run up to November’s UN Climate Summit. We will be encouraging as many of our customers to sign up as possible.

Philip Jansen, Chief Executive of BT Group, said:

BT has been taking action against climate change for nearly 30 years and we’ve pledged to be a net zero emissions business by 2045. All businesses, large and small, have an important role to play in reducing worldwide carbon emissions, so we’re urging our small business suppliers and customers to join us on the journey to net zero by signing up to the UK Business Climate Hub.

A survey we recently carried out with Small Business Britain found that although 99% of small firms recognise the importance of sustainability, three quarters of them (77%) don’t know how to measure their carbon emissions and need support. The new UK Business Climate Hub, together with free webinars we’re offering through BT’s Skills for Tomorrow programme, will help more small firms take their first steps towards taking climate action that can make a difference.

Ronan Harris, Managing Director & VP, Google UK and Ireland said:

Every email you send through gmail, every question you ask Google Search and every YouTube video you watch is already carbon neutral. But we know our impact is far greater when we are also helping others transition to a carbon-free world. That’s why we’re excited to be part of this important campaign and, as part of that, to offer small businesses across the UK new training that can help them increase their competitive advantage while protecting the planet.

Small businesses that are already making the leap to go green include:

Clean distilling: being green is at the heart of Shed 1 Gin, a gin distillery in Ulverston, Cumbria, since its inception in 2016 and now the business has committed to being net zero by 2030. The business uses recycled, recyclable and compostable packaging and recycles water used during the gin distilling process, saving thousands of litres of water.

Perfect marriage: family-run wedding venue Hayne House, Hythe, Kent offers a sustainable option for weddings and receptions and has committed to cutting carbon emissions to zero by 2030, with the business believing it will have reduced emissions by 50% by the end of next year. The business has already removed all single-use plastic, started replacing windows with ones that are more energy efficient and switched to a renewable energy supplier, installing a rainwater harvesting system to water the garden and reviewing procurement to include local and sustainable suppliers among others. The company plans to go further including installing a heat pump and electric charge points for vehicles, as well as increasing its solar energy production to power the whole site.

Sustainable snacks: healthy snack company Healthy Nibbles, Edinburgh, Scotland, is committed to being sustainable and is working towards net zero goals. Last year, the company changed its packaging to be plastic-free and it is now produced using 100% recycled materials, which are also recyclable. The company also uses biodegradable labelling and tape, as well as assesses suppliers’ environmental and sustainable impact.

Couch to carbon neutral: self-styled ‘sofa in a box’ company Snug, Enfield, North London, is make steps towards a sustainable future to become carbon neutral by 2025. Creating sofas that can be delivered and assembled quickly without the use of tools, Snug uses wood taken from forests grown by its manufacturers and delivers it sofas in 100% recyclable boxes. The business has partnered with the Eden Reforestation Project which works with communities around the world to educate and employ local people to produce, plant, protect and conserve native species in deforested areas. As such, Snug has donated more than 100,000 trees to date and is working towards an ‘eco collection’ and plans to be the first sofa company in the world with a carbon negative product.

Practice what you preach: family-owned energy efficiency specialists SURE Solutions, Birkenhead on the Wirral, offers solutions to businesses using industrial refrigeration and has pledged to become net zero by 2025. The company has installed 70 solar panels on the roof of its offices and this year plans to install a hot water heat pump and electric vehicle charge points. This is on top of making sure it is recycling waste and replacing its vehicles with either electric or hybrid equivalents. The business also has plans to be carbon neutral through carbon offsetting by the end of the year through tree planting or similar.

Founder of Small Business Britain Michelle Ovens CBE said:

The UK’s small business community can and will play a significant role in combatting climate change. Although individually small, collectively they have a huge impact on the economy, society and local communities. Working together, we can start the journey towards net zero, and Small Business Britain is committed to helping the nation’s businesses get there.

National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses Mike Cherry said:

Small business owners care passionately about the environment, and are keen to do the right thing to help our transition to Net Zero. The small firms and sole traders who make up the UK’s 6 million SMEs are now seeking help and guidance on what they can do. From those that have already started on this journey, we know that sustainability makes good business sense, too.

Today marks a clear occasion and opportunity for small businesses to take the lead. As we emerge from the worst of COVID and look to secure our long-term future, now is the time for small businesses to take their first steps. At FSB we will be building on this campaign to share ideas and small-business-friendly guidance, that will reach small firms in local communities right across the UK.”

Today’s Business Climate Leaders campaign launch is the latest phase of the government’s UK-wide Together For Our Planet campaign that is encouraging people from across society to engage in climate action.

The campaign also builds on the progress made at the Business 7 Leaders Climate Summit that the UK convened as part of its G7 Presidency earlier this month, organised ahead of leader-level discussions at G7 Summit in June. This event brought together business leaders across the world to accelerate climate action and seize opportunities of net zero.

Additional quotes

UK High Level Climate Action Champion for COP26 Nigel Topping said:

The science is clear: we need to halve our emissions by 2030 to deliver a zero-carbon world in time. This requires immediate action from across the world, by the largest governments and the smallest companies. The partnership between the UK government and the SME Climate Hub will accelerate the adoption of net-zero business practices and bring companies of all sizes into the critical Race to Zero.

Co-Founder and Head of Exponential Roadmap Initiative Johan Falk said:

Our vision is to mobilise millions of small and medium-sized enterprises to accelerate climate action. We want to make it possible for SMEs to commit to halve emissions before 2030. One of the strategic resources is the 1.5°C Business Playbook, a guide that helps SMEs develop a climate strategy anchored in the latest science and start taking action. The SME Climate Hub will simplify the process and make it beneficial for SMEs to cut emissions and provide the next generation of green solutions.

María Mendiluce, the CEO of the We Mean Business coalition, a founding partner of the SME Climate Hub said:

The SME Climate Hub provides small businesses worldwide with tools and resources to start their net zero journey by curbing emissions, managing climate-related risks and building business resilience. We are thrilled to be collaborating with the United Kingdom government to galvanize small business climate action across the UK. We hope this strengthens competitiveness, resilience and growth. No matter the size, no matter the sector, every business has a role to play.

Jason Wouhra, president of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce, part of Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, said:

We will be delighted to use our extensive network of Asian businesses to inform them about the government’s net zero campaign.

This vital issue is in everyone’s interests and we look forward to hearing full details on how businesses can support this campaign and the help available.

Jonathan Geldart, IoD Director General said:

Directors from small businesses recognise the critical importance of tackling climate change and its effect on the environment. It is one of the most significant challenges facing organisations today.

The information and guidance provided in the Together for Our Planet toolkit will provide valuable support to business leaders, and we will be encouraging as many of them as possible to use it and join the Race to Zero.

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said:

Achieving net zero and building a fairer, greener and more sustainable economy post-pandemic requires urgency and serious collective effort. That’s why we need businesses of all sizes joining with government and consumers to deliver lasting change.

While the businesses being targeted by this campaign may be small, the potential of their collective impact to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss could be mighty. With small businesses making up such a significant portion of our economy, providing them with practical advice on how to promote sustainability and implement greener growth strategies will enable the UK to meet climate commitments ahead of COP26.

Simon Thompson, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Mail, said:

As a company that partners with so many of the UK’s small businesses, we are pleased to be involved in this initiative to help them transition to net zero. With our ‘feet on the street’ network we already have the lowest CO2e emissions per parcel, but we want to go further as we implement our own net zero plans. We’re changing, and we hope that we can help SMEs do the same.

Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce Shevaun Haviland said:

Tackling the climate crisis demands entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, qualities which we know sit at the heart of our business communities in all parts of the UK. We must harness these abilities to uncover solutions which will not only protect our planet, but drive business growth and create jobs.

The transition to net zero must empower companies to seize the opportunities which come from reducing their environmental impact. This initiative is an important step in enabling SMEs and micro-businesses, which are the backbone of the UK economy, to stake their place in the green economy.

Sasan Goodarzi, CEO at Intuit, the global mission-driven financial technology platform, said:

Climate change is bigger than all of us, and it is critical we all play a part in positively impacting climate change.

At Intuit, we’re committed to empowering the small businesses we work with to join us in our efforts to be climate-positive. We applaud the UK government for leading on this important issue and look forward to working together to build a greener and more sustainable world.

Notes to editors

As part of today’s announcement, the government has teamed up with the SME Climate Hub – an initiative founded by the International Chamber of Commerce, the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, the We Mean Business coalition and the United Nations Race to Zero campaign. Through this collaboration, the UK government is encouraging UK small businesses to demonstrate their climate leadership on this dedicated UK page of the hub. The SME Climate Hub provides small and medium-sized businesses with a database of practical tools and resources to develop a climate strategy, curb emissions and build business resilience.

The Together for our Planet Business Climate Leaders campaign will encourage as many small businesses (250 employees or fewer) to take the first steps on their journey to net zero by making the SME Climate Commitment – to halve their greenhouse gas emissions before 2030, achieve net zero emissions before 2050 and disclose their progress on a yearly basis.

The campaign is specifically targeted at small and micro businesses in the UK and businesses who make a commitment will be recognised by the United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign, which is the largest ever global alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest, backed with science-based targets, with many opting to go even faster.

Once companies have made the SME Climate Commitment, they can display the Together For Our Planet Business brand in store, online, and in their promotional materials, showing customers across the globe that they have joined the global fight against climate change.

Businesses who are supporting the campaign include NatWest, Google, Scottish Power and BT (to be expanded with detail of action), including:

  • BT which is putting a message on the BT Tower, London, in support on the campaign
  • Natwest is launching a dedicated page on its business website to showcase the campaign and climate hub
  • Google will announce a new module of their ‘Digital Garage’ programme that will be created in partnership with BEIS and Oxford University to provide free advice to businesses on becoming more sustainable, including tips on reducing their carbon emissions. This module will be delivered from summer 2021

Other companies attending today’s Downing Street small business event include:

  • Code 56 – Derby
  • The Flower Shop – Pulborough
  • Inn Cornwall – Cornwall
  • Bailie Group – Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Vindico – Llanelli, Wales
  • Shed 1 Distillery – Ulverston, Cumbria
  • First Milk – Paisley, Scotland
  • Polkadot Plumbers – London
Net Zero by 2050: a Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector

Net Zero by 2050: a Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector

World’s first comprehensive energy roadmap shows government actions to rapidly boost clean energy and reduce fossil fuel use can create millions of jobs, lift economic growth and keep net zero in reach according to IEA special report

The world has a viable pathway to building a global energy sector with net-zero emissions in 2050, but it is narrow and requires an unprecedented transformation of how energy is produced, transported and used globally, the International Energy Agency said in a landmark special report released today.

Climate pledges by governments to date – even if fully achieved – would fall well short of what is required to bring global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to net zero by 2050 and give the world an even chance of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 °C, according to the new report, Net Zero by 2050: a Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector.

The report is the world’s first comprehensive study of how to transition to a net zero energy system by 2050 while ensuring stable and affordable energy supplies, providing universal energy access, and enabling robust economic growth. It sets out a cost-effective and economically productive pathway, resulting in a clean, dynamic and resilient energy economy dominated by renewables like solar and wind instead of fossil fuels. The report also examines key uncertainties, such as the roles of bioenergy, carbon capture and behavioural changes in reaching net zero.

“Our Roadmap shows the priority actions that are needed today to ensure the opportunity of net-zero emissions by 2050 – narrow but still achievable – is not lost. The scale and speed of the efforts demanded by this critical and formidable goal – our best chance of tackling climate change and limiting global warming to 1.5 °C – make this perhaps the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director. “The IEA’s pathway to this brighter future brings a historic surge in clean energy investment that creates millions of new jobs and lifts global economic growth. Moving the world onto that pathway requires strong and credible policy actions from governments, underpinned by much greater international cooperation.”

Building on the IEA’s unrivalled energy modelling tools and expertise, the Roadmap sets out more than 400 milestones to guide the global journey to net zero by 2050. These include, from today, no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects, and no further final investment decisions for new unabated coal plants. By 2035, there are no sales of new internal combustion engine passenger cars, and by 2040, the global electricity sector has already reached net-zero emissions.

In the near term, the report describes a net zero pathway that requires the immediate and massive deployment of all available clean and efficient energy technologies, combined with a major global push to accelerate innovation. The pathway calls for annual additions of solar PV to reach 630 gigawatts by 2030, and those of wind power to reach 390 gigawatts. Together, this is four times the record level set in 2020. For solar PV, it is equivalent to installing the world’s current largest solar park roughly every day. A major worldwide push to increase energy efficiency is also an essential part of these efforts, resulting in the global rate of energy efficiency improvements averaging 4% a year through 2030 – about three times the average over the last two decades.

Most of the global reductions in CO2 emissions between now and 2030 in the net zero pathway come from technologies readily available today. But in 2050, almost half the reductions come from technologies that are currently only at the demonstration or prototype phase. This demands that governments quickly increase and reprioritise their spending on research and development – as well as on demonstrating and deploying clean energy technologies – putting them at the core of energy and climate policy. Progress in the areas of advanced batteries, electrolysers for hydrogen, and direct air capture and storage can be particularly impactful.

A transition of such scale and speed cannot be achieved without sustained support and participation from citizens, whose lives will be affected in multiple ways.

“The clean energy transition is for and about people,” said Dr Birol. “Our Roadmap shows that the enormous challenge of rapidly transitioning to a net zero energy system is also a huge opportunity for our economies. The transition must be fair and inclusive, leaving nobody behind. We have to ensure that developing economies receive the financing and technological know-how they need to build out their energy systems to meet the needs of their expanding populations and economies in a sustainable way.”

Providing electricity to around 785 million people who have no access to it and clean cooking solutions to 2.6 billion people who lack them is an integral part of the Roadmap’s net zero pathway. This costs around $40 billion a year, equal to around 1% of average annual energy sector investment. It also brings major health benefits through reductions in indoor air pollution, cutting the number of premature deaths by 2.5 million a year.

Total annual energy investment surges to USD 5 trillion by 2030 in the net zero pathway, adding an extra 0.4 percentage points a year to global GDP growth, based on a joint analysis with the International Monetary Fund. The jump in private and government spending creates millions of jobs in clean energy, including energy efficiency, as well as in the engineering, manufacturing and construction industries. All of this puts global GDP 4% higher in 2030 than it would reach based on current trends.

By 2050, the energy world looks completely different. Global energy demand is around 8% smaller than today, but it serves an economy more than twice as big and a population with 2 billion more people. Almost 90% of electricity generation comes from renewable sources, with wind and solar PV together accounting for almost 70%. Most of the remainder comes from nuclear power. Solar is the world’s single largest source of total energy supply. Fossil fuels fall from almost four-fifths of total energy supply today to slightly over one-fifth. Fossil fuels that remain are used in goods where the carbon is embodied in the product such as plastics, in facilities fitted with carbon capture, and in sectors where low-emissions technology options are scarce.

“The pathway laid out in our Roadmap is global in scope, but each country will need to design its own strategy, taking into account its own specific circumstances,” said Dr Birol. “Plans need to reflect countries’ differing stages of economic development: in our pathway, advanced economies reach net zero before developing economies. The IEA stands ready to support governments in preparing their own national and regional roadmaps, to provide guidance and assistance in implementing them, and to promote international cooperation on accelerating the energy transition worldwide.”

The special report is designed to inform the high-level negotiations that will take place at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Climate Change Framework Convention in Glasgow in November. It was requested as input to the negotiations by the UK government’s COP26 Presidency.

“I welcome this report, which sets out a clear roadmap to net-zero emissions and shares many of the priorities we have set as the incoming COP Presidency – that we must act now to scale up clean technologies in all sectors and phase out both coal power and polluting vehicles in the coming decade,” said COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma. “I am encouraged that it underlines the great value of international collaboration, without which the transition to global net zero could be delayed by decades. Our first goal for the UK as COP26 Presidency is to put the world on a path to driving down emissions, until they reach net zero by the middle of this century.”

New energy security challenges will emerge on the way to net zero by 2050 while longstanding ones will remain, even as the role of oil and gas diminishes. The contraction of oil and natural gas production will have far-reaching implications for all the countries and companies that produce these fuels. No new oil and natural gas fields are needed in the net zero pathway, and supplies become increasingly concentrated in a small number of low-cost producers. OPEC’s share of a much-reduced global oil supply grows from around 37% in recent years to 52% in 2050, a level higher than at any point in the history of oil markets.

Growing energy security challenges that result from the increasing importance of electricity include the variability of supply from some renewables and cybersecurity risks. In addition, the rising dependence on critical minerals required for key clean energy technologies and infrastructure brings risks of price volatility and supply disruptions that could hinder the transition.

“Since the IEA’s founding in 1974, one of its core missions has been to promote secure and affordable energy supplies to foster economic growth. This has remained a key concern of our Net Zero Roadmap,” Dr Birol said. “Governments need to create markets for investments in batteries, digital solutions and electricity grids that reward flexibility and enable adequate and reliable supplies of electricity. The rapidly growing role of critical minerals calls for new international mechanisms to ensure both the timely availability of supplies and sustainable production.”

The full report is available for free on the IEA’s website along with an online interactive that highlights some of the key milestones in the pathway that must be achieved in the next three decades to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

UK enshrines new target in law to slash emissions by 78% by 2035

UK enshrines new target in law to slash emissions by 78% by 2035

Green Hydrogen A Renewable Energy Technology

Green Hydrogen A Renewable Energy Technology

Powersystems reviews Green Hydrogen as a renewable energy technology and some of the challenges the sector faces as we wait for the Hydrogen Strategy publication from the UK Government this year.

Hydrogen is the lightest element of the periodic table and the most common substance in the world.  It can be used as feedstock, fuel or energy carrier and does not emit CO2 when burnt, that is why you often hear about its high potential for decarbonising the economy.

Now, as nations come forward with net-zero strategies to align with their international climate targets, hydrogen has once again risen up the agenda for the UK and Australia through to Germany and Japan.

Potentially hydrogen could soon power trucks, planes and ships. It could heat homes, balance electricity grids and help heavy industry to make everything from steel to cement.

But doing all these things with hydrogen would require staggering quantities of the fuel, which is only as clean as the methods used to produce it. Moreover, for every potentially transformative application of hydrogen, there are unique challenges that must be overcome.

In order to meet the 2050 decarbonisation policies and targets, the UK requires deployment of new technologies in traditional roles. One of these is the innovative technology around the uses of Green Hydrogen.

What is Hydrogen?

Hydrogen is an explosive and clean-burning gas. Since the weight of hydrogen is less than air, it rises in the atmosphere and is therefore rarely found in its pure form, (H2).

In a flame of pure hydrogen gas, burning in air, the hydrogen (H2) reacts with oxygen (O2) to form water (H2O) and releases energy.

The energy released enables hydrogen to act as a fuel. This energy can be used with relatively high efficiency.

Hydrogen can be made by splitting water with electricity (electrolysis) or by splitting fossil fuels or biomass with heat or steam, using “reforming” or “pyrolysis”. Any CO2 can be captured and stored.

Hydrogen can be stored, liquified and transported via pipelines, trucks or ships. And it can be used to make fertiliser, fuel vehicles, heat homes, generate electricity or drive heavy industry.

Hydrogen is usually considered an energy carrier, like electricity, as it must be produced from a primary energy source.

In a hydrogen economy, hydrogen would be used in place of fossil fuels, which currently provide four-fifths of the world’s energy supply and emit the bulk of global greenhouse gas emissions. This could aid climate goals because hydrogen only emits water when burned and can be made without releasing CO2.

What is blue hydrogen?

Blue hydrogen is when natural gas is split into hydrogen and CO2 either by Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) or Auto Thermal Reforming (ATR), but the CO2 is captured and then stored. As the greenhouse gasses are captured, this mitigates the environmental impacts on the planet. Simply put, hydrogen is considered blue when the emissions generated from the steam process are captured and stored underground via industrial carbon capture and storage (CSS).

What is brown/black hydrogen?

Brown hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels and currently accounts for around 95 per cent of global production. The oldest way of producing hydrogen is by transforming coal into gas. This gasification process converts fossil-based materials into carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen. Gasification is achieved at incredible high temperatures without combustion, with a controlled amount of oxygen and/or steam. The carbon monoxide then reacts with water to form carbon dioxide and more hydrogen via a water-gas shift reaction.

Generated via coal gasification syngas and hydrogen can be separated from the other elements using absorbers. It is the result of a highly polluting process since both CO2 and carbon monoxide cannot be reused and are released in the atmosphere.

What is Pink hydrogen?

Hydrogen obtained from electrolysis through nuclear energy is coloured pink.

Hydrogen from Biomass

Hydrogen can also be produced from Biomass via gasification. Depending on the type of biomass but also on the use of carbon capture and storage technologies net carbon emissions can be lower using these technologies

What is green hydrogen?

Green hydrogen is produced using electricity generated from renewables such as solar energy, biomass, electricity (e.g., in the form of solar PV or via wind turbines), instead of fossil fuels. And currently accounts for 1% of overall hydrogen production.

Green hydrogen has the potential to provide clean power for manufacturing, transportation, and more — and its only by-product is water. With green hydrogen, zero carbon emissions are produced. It is in essence the gold standard of hydrogen in the clean energy sector.

Why is green hydrogen a big deal?

Green hydrogen is one of several potential low-carbon fuels that could take the place of today’s fossil hydrocarbons. Admittedly, hydrogen is far from ideal as a fuel. Its low density makes it hard to store and move around. And its flammability can be a problem.

However, the case for hydrogen is clear; the UK requires a zero-emission fuel that is well understood, has extensive regulations and standards in place, is readily scalable and which can be used across multiple energy vectors. Hydrogen is that fuel. In the next decade alone, research by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking  (FCH JU) indicates that hydrogen could reduce CO2 emissions by 1.7 million to 6.3 million tonnes by 2030, supporting the further deployment of 1,800 MW to 9 GW of wind and 830 MW to 4 GW of solar.

There are major technical and economic hurdles to meeting the UK’s Net Zero goals without hydrogen, particularly for heating and transport applications

The country’s gas grid supplies 3x more energy than the electricity grid today, and the transport sector accounted for over 1/3rd of final energy consumption in 2019. While there is significant renewable power generation potential in the UK, notably from offshore wind, electrifying all heating and transport is likely to be an unsurmountable challenge by 2050. Mass electrification would require and overhaul of the current energy system, and massive scale up of batteries, improved transmission systems and smart metering. Alternatively, hydrogen can be integrated into current energy distribution and end-use systems, and utilize high renewables potential in the UK by converting green electrons into green molecules, that can be widely transported and stored seasonally. Mechanisms to store significant volumes of energy are important for coping with extreme environmental events.

Hydrogen is already widely used by industry, so technical problems to storage and transport are not insurmountable. The opportunity for green hydrogen to be applied across a wide range of sectors means there is a large number of companies looking at harnessing and benefiting from a hydrogen fuel economy. The most significant of these are the oil and gas firms (who are increasingly facing the calls to cut back on fossil fuel production). Big oil’s interest in green hydrogen could be critical in getting the fuel through to commercial viability. Cutting the cost of green hydrogen production will require massive investment and massive scale, something the oil majors are uniquely positioned to provide.

Green hydrogen projects and pathways 

Hydrogen offers a pathway to revitalise manufacturing capabilities in the UK and improve the skill base for workers. The UK was a leader in discovering hydrogen and creating fuel cells, and today has several world leading manufacturers and supply chain businesses that with the right support could become global leaders and engines of economic growth for the UK economy. Using hydrogen, the UK could also become a global Centre of Excellence for hydrogen mobility and transport across land, maritime and aviation sectors.

  • A recent report published by Powersystems highlights that hydrogen produced with renewable electricity could compete on costs with fossil fuel alternatives by 2030
  • UK regions are taking steps to capture the scale of the hydrogen opportunity. Scotland has pro-actively driven hydrogen investment and support for regional initiatives, including the BIG HIT project in the Orkneys, this multi-partner plan involves the Port of Cromarty Firth together with SHFCA members ScottishPower (ScottishPower has created a new business division dedicated to delivering green hydrogen) and Pale Blue Dot, as well as other partners including Scotch whisky producers Glenmorangie, Whyte and Mackay and Diageo. This new green hydrogen hub in the Highlands will see Scotland leading the way for the integration and deployment of hydrogen technology and decarbonisation of local industry.
  • Britain’s largest “green” hydrogen production facility is to be built on the outskirts of Glasgow under plans unveiled by ScottishPower. The energy group has submitted a planning application for a 20 megawatt electrolyser next to the UK’s largest onshore wind farm at Whitelee. The electrolyser will use surplus renewable electricity from the wind farm as well as power from a proposed new 40 megawatt solar farm and a 50 megawatt battery storage project to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
  • ScottishPower, through its recently launched Green Hydrogen Business, has signed an agreement with Global Energy Group at their Port of Nigg site to work together to identify processes and plant that could be powered by green hydrogen.
  • The H100 Fife project is designed to be a real life test of the use of hydrogen for heating homes. The idea is to build a facility in Levenmouth, Fife, that will use offshore wind power to generate hydrogen from electrolysers.
  • In Wales, the government has recently launched a consultation on developing the hydrogen energy sector in Wales
  • Across the country, local businesses in East Anglia are partnering with LEPs and local councils to assess opportunities to leverage the region’s rich offshore wind experience to accelerate the hydrogen transition.
  • Announced in February and March 2021, The National Grid currently has two UK Projects underway; FutureGrid, which is trialling hydrogen mixes in off-grid pipelines and Project Union, which is exploring the development of a UK hydrogen ‘backbone’ joining together industrial clusters around the country.
  • Equinor and SSE Thermal have unveiled plans to develop a 100% hydrogen-fuelled power station in the UK’s Humber region – and it’s believed to be a world first.
  • Powersystems recently reported on the global race to produce hydrogen offshore. Wind generation reached its highest ever level, at 17.2GW on 18 December 2020, while wind power achieved its biggest share of UK electricity production, at 60% on 26 August 2020. Yet occasionally the huge offshore wind farms pump out far more electricity than the UK needs. What if you could use wind energy to make hydrogen?
Is the UK late to the green hydrogen party?

Given that on the 8 July 2020, the road map was unveiled by the European Union to promote green hydrogen “as a key priority to achieve the European Green deal and Europe’s clean energy transition.” It is seen as a technology which can bridge the gap between electricity production from renewable energy and the goal of decarbonising a large share of the EU’s energy.

Similar policy developments are underway in the likes of Australia, Canada, Japan, Netherlands, Germany, France, Portugal and the US – the pressure is on ministers to ensure that the UK makes early preparations to become a competitive exporter in the sector.

Presently we can only look at promises made as part of the Ten Point plan for a green industrial revolution announced in November 2020. The UK Government expects that driving the growth of low carbonhydrogen could deliver over GBP 4 billion of private investment in the period up to 2030. The UK Hydrogen strategy was due in March 2021

  • The Nuclear Industry Council (NIC) and Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) published a roadmap outlining how the UK could co-locate electrolysis at 12-13GW of nuclear reactors. This commitment could enable the production of 75 TWh of green hydrogen by 2050, the bodies claim
  • The UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, has also published a roadmap this month, detailing a potential trajectory for the sector through to 2050. The roadmap has been backed by business giants including Rolls Royce and ITM Power and explores how the UK could target 80GW of green hydrogen capacity by 2050.
  • Powersystems recently shared on what we need to know about hydrogen on climate change and decarbonisation in the UK ahead of COP26 In November 2021
What about hydrogen vehicles?

Alongside oil and gas firms, renewable developers see green hydrogen as an emerging market, with offshore wind leader Ørsted last month trumpeting the first major project to exclusively target the transport sector in Denmark. The eye-catching Toyota Mirai helped fuel early hopes that hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles might vie with electric cars to take over from the internal combustion engine. But as the EV market has boomed, the prospect of hydrogen being a serious contender has faded from view, at least in the passenger vehicle segment.There are roughly 18,000 hydrogen fuel-cell cars in the world today and 31,000 forklifts, compared to more than 373,600 plug-in electrics up to December 2020.That said, pundits still expect hydrogen to play a role in decarbonizing some vehicle segments, with forklifts and heavy-duty trucks among the most likely to benefit.

  • Powersystems looks at the most ambitious shake-up in the bus sector in a generation. The 5-year new funding investment aims to deliver 4,000 new British-built electric/hydrogen buses to provide clean, quiet, zero-emission travel
  • The NHS outlined plans to trial hydrogen-powered ambulances in London later this year. The organisation is sourcing retrofitted hydrogen combustion technology from ULEMCo and pairing it with battery technology from Promech Technologies
  • Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) updated its business strategy to fully electrify Jaguar models by 2025, with another ambition to begin testing hydrogen fuel cell electric prototypes in the UK this year
  • Toyota, Daimler and BMW are leading a group of 13 companies across the world, investing $10 billion over the next decade in developing hydrogen technology and infrastructure. Government investment also has a role to play
  • Bath Area Trams Association (BATA) has announced that it is in detailed discussions with American transportation system manufacturer TIG/m and consultants TenBroeke Engineering for a wire-free hydrogen tram project
  • Powersystems reports on Hydrogen or electric vehicles? Why the answer is probably both – The distinct virtues of the two main emerging types of greener transport mean both are likely to flourish, depending on the requirements of different types of user
  • In Northern Ireland, the first three hydrogen fuel cell double decker busses entered service on Northern Ireland a further 142 buses to come.
  • In the North East – Teeside, which produces most of the UK’s current hydrogen, a hydrogen transport Centre of Excellence is being set up and funded by the government, with local leaders having even wider hydrogen economy aspirations
  • The Government has announced £30m of investment in EV and hydrogen technology to help launch studies into the creation of a UK lithium supply chain, improvements in battery safety and the re-use of car batteries. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) revealed the plans, which include a project to extract lithium from hard rock in Cornwall as well as studies into hydrogen storage and the development of solid-state batteries.
Leading sector for UK job creation

Green hydrogen has the potential to become a leading sector in the UK for job creation and exports.

The UK is currently a global leader in the manufacture and design of hydrogen electrolysis systems, with decades of expertise in hydrogen storage, transportation, and combustion technologies. These include the world’s first PEM electrolysis Gigafactory built by ITM Power, membrane free electrolysers developed by CPH2, and high resiliency electrolysers built for the UK & French nuclear fleets by TP Group.

Other emerging technologies Include Solid Oxide Electrolysers currently under development by CERES Power and HiiROC’s plasma process technology.

74,000 jobs could be created from a commitment to hydrogen by the government and supported by appropriate measures

Supporting these highly specialised businesses and other innovative technology companies require highly skilled workers creating thousands of well-paid manufacturing jobs across the UK will provide a competitive advantage towards an emerging global market demand.

Longer-term private sector vision

These new projects may seem small in comparison to the UK’s broader transport, industrial and heat sectors. But it is clear that there is strong private sector support for longer-term, overarching initiatives that deliver an ongoing transition beyond initial pilots.

  • The Green Hydrogen Catapult, for example, has convened seven big businesses under a shared mission to increase the world’s green hydrogen production fifty-fold by 2026 – in a move they claim will halve costs
  • Business members of the Catapult include Iberdrola, Ørsted, ACWA Power, CWP Renewables, Envision, Yara, and Snam
  • Away from the private sector, non-profit the Rocky Mountain Institute will provide support alongside the UN’s pre-COP26 ‘Race to Zero’

£320 billion could be generated by the Hydrogen industry for the UK economy

  • Similarly, trade bodies including WindEurope and SolarPowerEurope received backing from Bill-Gates-backed Breakthrough Energy last year to form the Renewable Hydrogen Coalition
  • And, while the Catapult is global and the Coalition covers all of Europe, the UK does play host to its own Hydrogen Taskforce, which includes the likes of Shell and BP

The Hydrogen Taskforce is a coalition of the hydrogen industry’s largest organisations that operate in and innovate across this sector. Its aim is to secure the role of hydrogen in the future energy mix.

The Hydrogen Taskforce is committed to working with Government to secure tangible support to aid the creation of infrastructure and delivery frameworks, helping the government to deliver on its promises to level up the regions and its Net Zero by 2050 commitments.

The Hydrogen Taskforce aims to enable the UK to become a world leader in the international application and service of hydrogen, to deliver excellence throughout the supply chain and create a globally attractive export.

All in all, it would seem that all of the ingredients are ready for the UK to begin dramatically decarbonising and scaling up its hydrogen sector. Over the coming weeks, all eyes will be on BEIS, pushing it to bring the Hydrogen Strategy to the table and understand the actions we now need to take as part of the Rollout plan for a UK hydrogen economy.

 

Pin It on Pinterest