The government is ‘asleep at the wheel’ according to the UK’s official climate advisors, in a report released today by the Climate Change Committee which has criticised the pace of decarbonisation of the power grid. IEMA's Digital Journalist Tom Pashby reports.

The climate advisors, whose role was created under the Climate Change Act 2008, called on the government to deliver hydrogen-based power stations, carbon capture and storage, smart demand management, and deployment of novel electricity storage solutions beyond ‘the simple use of batteries’.

Sarah Mukherjee MBE, CEO at IEMA, said: “It’s crucial that we rapidly grow the workforce and equip them with the skills and training to decarbonise the electricity grid.

"This research by the CCC shows that we have a long way to go and are running out of time to achieve net zero with the urgency needed to avoid climate breakdown.”

The report sets out 25 recommendations which the committee says will assist with delivery of the government’s own decarbonisation goals.

Lord Deben, Chairman of the Climate Change Committee, said: “For 15 years, the Climate Change Committee’s main recommendation has been to decarbonise British electricity. The offer of cheap, decarbonised electricity for every consumer and business is now within reach, thanks to pioneering efforts to develop renewables.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought home the fundamental importance of energy security. A reliable energy system based mainly on UK’s plentiful renewable resources now has new significance."

The report noted that greenhouse gas emissions associated with grid electricity have fallen 69 percent since 2010 and said that full decarbonisation would enable other sectors, like transport, industry, and heat to achieve net zero in line with scientists' recommendations for avoiding climate catastrophe.

“We know how to do this, but Government is asleep at the wheel.”

Baroness Brown, Chair of the Adaptation Committee, said: “The climate risks to the electricity system are currently underplayed. Climate-related impacts will multiply as the UK relies increasingly on electricity for heat and transport needs.

“The CCC’s analysis shows that a well-designed decarbonised power system, with a higher degree of weather-dependent generation, can be reliable and resilient. This is not an issue for the future, we need to build in that resilience now, as we scale the electricity system to meet our Net Zero targets.”

You can read more about the report here.


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