A blog by Guy Jefferson
You will have heard a lot recently about The United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, which is going to be crucial to help the world transition towards a low carbon Net Zero future. But why is it important to SP Energy Networks?
As a Principal Partner of COP26, we are well placed to show the importance of the work we do in helping to deliver Net Zero and to help enable the UKs transition to clean power. Our employees are at the core of the work we’re doing to support this transition.That’s why over the coming months, we will be developing a series of videoblogs and updates on the work we are doing to decarbonise heat, transport and energy to celebrate the great achievements of our teams, and emphasise the importance of the part we play in helping to limit global warming.
So you may be asking the question: What is COP26? The aim of COP is to seek to create multi-lateral agreements between countries and progress global efforts towards keeping global temperatures from increasing below 2 ℃ and limit the rise to 1.5 ℃. This is necessary to limit destructive impacts of climate change such as extreme weather events and rising sea levels. In order to meet this target, human-generated harmful Emissions (including CO2) will need to reach net zero by 2050. While the target of eradicating all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is ambitious, it’s necessary to tackle the climate emergency that will affect each and every one of us. We need to address our contribution to Global warming and do all we can to protect the future of our planet.
At SP Energy Networks we’re on the frontline to help deliver this - pushing forward towards a cleaner, greener decarbonised future. Our electricity networks are the backbone of the energy system and are central to the success of this transition. We’ve already started prioritising actions to tackle the climate emergency and achieve Net Zero, delivering £7 billion of investment into our network from 2015 to 2023.
We’ve focused on developing plans across our networks to help facilitate the regional ambitions of the cities and rural communities we serve to decarbonise heat, transport and energy. All forecast scenarios show a significant increase in the volume of customer demand and generation that we will need to serve on our transmission and distribution networks.
Within the next 10 years, we expect the number of electric vehicles we supply on our two distribution networks to increase up to 1.5million and Electric Vehichle charging can double the demand of a domestic property. Through innovation projects such as EV-UP, Charge and PACE, we have identified a key strategic role that we can play in the design and siting of cost effective EV charging infrastructure.
We will also play a key role in the decarbonisation of heat. Heat in buildings is responsible for a fifth of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and we forecast up to 700,000 heat pump installations by 2030 across our two distribution license areas. We should not underestimate the challenges this will bring.
Our T2 & ED2 business plans are a blueprint for the network of the future: a network that will meet the increased demands brought about by electrification of heat and transport. Through targeted strategic investments we’ll unlock existing network capacity and facilitate more renewable generation on our networks, accommodate the uptake of heat pumps and increase charging points for domestic and commercial electric vehicles. This coordinated approach will also facilitate wider economic benefits delivering more sustainable green jobs and economic development.
This week’s announcement that we have secured £61.7million from Ofgem over and above our ED1 business plan for “Green Recovery” is a tremendous vote of confidence in what we are trying to achieve in SP Energy Networks.
All of this is only touching the surface of what we are doing here at SP Energy Networks to enable and help deliver Net Zero. The changes required should not be underestimated but I am certain we can truly make an impact and deliver for our customers, stakeholders and communities.
Together we are making sure there is a better future, quicker for everyone.