IGEM welcomes a new report from the Energy Networks Association (ENA): ‘Pathways to Net-Zero: Decarbonising the Gas Networks in Great Britain’, looking at the steps the UK needs to take to decarbonise the gas network and help achieve net-zero carbon emissions.
We commend this comprehensive piece of work, as the first articulation of viable pathways to a decarbonised gas network. We particularly welcome the integrated view of the ‘Balanced Scenario’, demonstrating how low-carbon and renewable gases can be used as part of a balanced energy system, alongside low carbon electricity and smart technologies.
The report recognises a number of key requirements in ‘preparing for the transition’ and outlines the low-regret actions for policy makers and stakeholders to support now.
The attention drawn to the skills and labour challenges associated with the transition to a decarbonised energy system is crucial. IGEM CEO, Neil Atkinson comments “we will need to attract new labour to the sector. Existing engineers will need re-skilling on low carbon technologies and appliances, with an emphasis on working across disciplines. High quality standards and training will need developing to ensure a competent workforce and to maintain public safety. IGEM recognises that a competent skilled workforce is an essential enabler, as such we are already delivering Hydrogen awareness training and will continue to work with our partners to offer the industry more in this space.”
We will need a coordinated awareness raising and communications campaign targeting energy end-users; to highlight the need for low carbon heat, demonstrate how it will be achieved and explain the mechanisms by which consumers can access low carbon heat.
IGEM recognises the fundamental contribution of low carbon and renewable gases to the decarbonisation pathway and will continue to work closely with our gas industry stakeholders, to develop Hydrogen Standards and support innovative projects trialling the use of hydrogen in the gas grid.
The full report is available to read here.