The importance of solar and electrification to the UK energy mix has been highlighted in the latest devastating report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
In what was termed a “final warning” on the climate crisis, the IPCC – made up of the world’s leading climate scientists – predicted that global warming of 1.5C would now occur in the 2030s, decades ahead of original forecasts.
Overshooting 1.5C is risky, the report claims, because it could trigger tipping points that can’t be reversed, for example the melting of permafrost and subsequent release of huge amounts of greenhouse gases.
Although many people point to carbon capture as a potential solution, this technology is currently expensive and not proven at scale.
So the IPCC has called on richer countries – including the UK – to accelerate 2050 net zero goals, and aim to be carbon neutral by 2040 instead.
Many decarbonisation targets are already set in business and government for even earlier. For example, in the UK, gas boilers will be banned from new homes in 2025, and sales of new petrol and diesel cars will end in 2030.
The IPCC named solar energy as the top potential contribution to net emission reduction by 2030, ahead of wind. (See graphic)
This encouraging news comes on the back of The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) independent review into the UK’s net zero prospects, which called for a “solar rooftop revolution” by 2035. The report is expected to be debated in Parliament soon.
Electrification and solar combine for place-based power through the SNRG SmartGrid. This solution could help the UK to accelerate its net zero targets, as the IPCC has demanded.
The IPCC ‘Synthesis’ report stated: “The solution lies in climate resilient development. This involves integrating measures to adapt to climate change with actions to reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions in ways that provide wider benefits.
“For example: access to clean energy and technologies improves health, especially for women and children; low-carbon electrification, walking, cycling and public transport enhance air quality, improve health, employment opportunities and deliver equity.
“Climate resilient development becomes progressively more challenging with every increment of warming. This is why the choices made in the next few years will play a critical role in deciding our future, and that of generations to come.”
The report makes it clear that there is no future in the energy mix for coal, oil or gas, and highlights how renewable forms of energy such as solar are now cheaper, as well as being climate friendly.
The UN secretary general, António Guterres, said: “This report is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe.
“The climate timebomb is ticking. But this report is a how-to guide to defuse the climate timebomb. It is a survival guide for humanity. As it shows, the 1.5C limit is achievable.”
Recommendations also included retrofitting buildings with solar, as well as consideration of materials and renewable energy in the design and construction process.
SNRG works across both the industrial & commercial and residential sectors, on both new build and retrofit projects, providing a funded end-to-end solution that reduces grid connection costs and end user electricity bills, with integrated distribution networks, batteries, solar, and EV charging.
By maximising the onsite consumption of locally generated renewable energy, a SNRG SmartGrid can meaningfully reduce cost, carbon and complexity.