The concept of netzero3 is to find pathways to netzero in trajectories of heat, power and transport. Decarbonisation of heat and transport will provide challenges and opportunities for new energy systems. In particular, deep decarbonisation of heat and transport of necessity will drive the development of infra-structure for the built environment.
Our electricity system, as it is now, was developed on the basis of few large scale power stations with central transmission , feeding the power distribution network. This power system took over a century to build and is being adapted to handle distributed generation and deal with intermittent renewables. Retiring of coal and adoption of renewable generation has led to a large reduction in the carbon intensity of grid supplied electricity- a trend that is expected to continue at least until 2035.
The challenge now is to decarbonise heat and transport. In the UK both sectors remain very dependent on natural gas and fossil fuel based liquid fuels. The anticipated growth in Plug in Hybrids (PHEV) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) will move energy demand from fossil fuel to the power system. Similarly many routes to decarbonise heating will move heat loads from local gas-fired boilers to the power system.
The trajectory to netzero associated with power use in the built environment clearly depends on the pathways taken to netzero in heat and transport.