Enabling the path to Net Zero: supporting a just transition to a decarbonised future for everyone


A blog by Guy Jefferson

With the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow later this year, we have the perfect opportunity as a Principal Partner of the event to highlight the critical work we do to help deliver the UK’s ambitious Net Zero targets.

COP26 is a significant event and our partnership will spotlight the performance of our teams, not only in Glasgow, but right across the UK. It will provide an opportunity to demonstrate that our people are delivering a real step-change in how we manage our entire network – driving innovation, and supporting a just transition to a decarbonised future for everyone.

A huge part of how we’ll meet the Net Zero targets for the country is the electrification of transport. Transport is now responsible for 27% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, with over 90% of that being road transport. We therefore recognise the need to support that decarbonisation journey, but also recognise the increased pressure it places on our network.

Within the next ten years alone, we expect the number of electric vehicles we supply on our two distribution networks to increase to 1.5 million, and know that the addition of EV charging can double the demand of a domestic property. To make sure our network has enough capacity and to understand when and where we will need to make changes to enable that capacity, we’ve forecasted our needs right up to 2050.

We’re driving innovative projects that help us understand what that future will look like. An example is Charge, one of our flagship projects which is focused on helping accelerate the investment in and deployment of public EV charging infrastructure, including the launch of an online tool to help businesses and local authorities identify optimum locations to connect EV chargepoints. Alongside this, our EV-Up project team have developed a modelling and forecasting tool to analyse the predicted uptake of electric vehicles across the country to allow prioritisation of our reinforcement investment.

Our strategic partnership with Transport Scotland and local authorities on project PACE has driven delivery of 180 new public chargers across Lanarkshire, and we’ve just recently hit 25,000 charges on those already in place. That equates to 450MWh of energy, enabling 1.6million miles to be driven by motorists by using clean, green vehicles. So far, PACE has prevented up to 280 tonnes of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere, which is the impact we’d have seen had this mileage been completed by conventional petrol or diesel cars.

In addition, we have funded fourteen transport related projects via our Green Economy Fund – from replacing community diesel minibuses with electric alternatives, funding electric refuse collection vehicles and 24 ebikes / electric cargo bikes, to supporting the rollout of double decker electric buses, ebike docking stations and public vehicle charging infrastructure to name a few.

We recognise how significant the electrification of transport is to the network of future and to meeting those ambitious climate change targets, and are committed to doing all that we can to build that better future, quicker for everyone.

You can watch Guys previous COP26 video blog at the link below: 


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