Non-Governmental Organisation, RAP, also known as the Regulatory Assistance Project has recently shared a report outlining that the UK Government have lacked discussion when it comes to decreasing our gas network.
In order for the UK to reach its goal of net zero by 2050, the government must find a way to ease the transition to more renewable alternatives. Currently 23 million of the 25 million homes within the UK depend on gas to heat their boilers.
The government has shown that it had plans to switch from gas to hydrogen. The decision for whether hydrogen will take over to heat our homes will need to be made in 2026. However, Grant Shapps, the UK’s Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero has claimed that this is ‘unlikely’.
Trials have already been squashed in Whitby as locals have strongly opposed to using hydrogen for heating and cooking.
The report has stated that the Government must begin to have serious discussions about how to wind down the use of gas in our homes. The report also stated that if the government wish to do this through electrifying heat, then the type of technology needed to do so needs to be agreed upon and carried out quickly.
The report claims:
“There are few examples of governments needing to actively wind down assets, particularly heavily regulated ones in such a short space of time. Some creativity and openness is, therefore, needed to tackle this challenge.”
RAP has set out three options for how the UK Government can wind down gas usage within our homes:
Depreciate gas distribution assets rates, to increase gas prices. There are concerns that this option may negatively impact low-income families that cannot afford to make the switch.
Regulatory Evolution model. Gas distribution networks are changed over to electric heat providers, mandated by the government.
The government oversees the nationalisation of the gas networks.
The UK Government has stated that it is working towards reducing its importing of gas from other countries, in order to turn to a more reliable and stable form of electricity generation. Moving towards renewable energy could also save the UK money in importation costs. If the UK significantly relies on clean and renewable energy by 2030, this could prevent the UK from spending £93 billion to import gas.
The UK has set the target to turn to clean energy and decarbonise our power systems by 2035. To do this they have pledged to reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels. This target focuses on producing clean energy to power both homes and businesses throughout the UK. This is 15 years earlier that the previous target to reach full decarbonisation by 2050.
The UK Government has claimed that they need to keep energy systems reliable and affordable, whilst also reducing the UK’s emissions, meeting increasing demands, and mitigating against climate change.