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The Route to Net Zero by 2050
In the UK, we all contribute to Co2 emissions and even homeowners play their role as a result of the heating systems they have installed. However, there is more to this because we now need to actively make a change in order to save our planet from irreversible change that could harm every element of the planet that we live on.
As a result, the UK has aimed to be Net Zero by 2050. However, what does this mean and what impact does it have on homeowners and their heating?
Why Are We Going Net Zero By 2050?
There are several reasons why this target of 2050 has been put in place. Should all other countries follow suit and reach net zero emissions by 2050, then it has been advised that there is a 50% chance of avoiding the 1.5-degree increase in temperature by 2100.
What this means is that 2050 was considered to be the most realistic target for net zero emissions to be achieved. This also made it possible to find a balance between taking action and easing the impact on the economy.
Throughout the UK, there are different official carbon targets such as Scotland which is in a better position as it has more space for forestry and room for carbon capture and storage. In fact, the Scottish government has already set a target of 2045 which is five years ahead of schedule.
In Wales, the aim here is to achieve a 95% reduction in emissions by 2050 and this is because farming is an integral part of the economy in Wales. Therefore, byproducts from agriculture such as methane from animals and ammonia from fertilizers are inevitable.
In both England and Northern Ireland, there are no specific carbon targets in place and so, it is safe to assume that these two countries will aim to meet the net zero target.
Is Net Zero a Real Possibility?
It is a huge target and a massive goal to set but since 1990, emissions have already been reduced by 38% which is impressive. This is all down to the way in which we have changed our approach to the way we generate energy and now we need to consider how we use energy in our everyday lives.
The Committee on Climate Change still believes that it is possible to meet the target using the technologies that are currently available. Despite this, there will be clear and consistent policies in place to help reduce emissions as well as changes in the way that people live their lives.
What About Heating Around the Home?
In the UK, around 9 out of 10 homes will use gas or oil to generate heat and the majority of household emissions will come from heating and so, it is important to identify that we now need to move away from gas and oil by embracing renewable heating.
There are several options available when it comes to renewable heat energy and this can come from solar panels, biomass boilers, low carbon gases and heat pumps that take the heat from the soil, air or even a nearby water source.
Essentially, when it comes to helping homes make the transition from traditional heating to new technologies, assistance is needed from the government and this comes in the form of the Renewable Heat Incentive which pays homes for generating heat using new renewable systems. Furthermore, generating clean electricity is vital in making the switch because from a national level, the electricity we use is increasing and so, new technology needs to help the electricity from the national grid be decarbonised.
Sure, this is a mammoth task and there is no denying that large scale electrification of heating to ensure homes are suitable for heat pumps is costly, although in the long-run it will be worth it.
Another option that’s available is to make a switch to the gas that is currently used to bring in larger percentages of biogas or hydrogen, providing a greener alternative. There are a number of technical options available when it comes to helping homes become greener and this is where government assistance for homeowners is required.
It’s complex and challenging but the Committee on Climate Change has stated that action is needed urgently and all heating systems for existing homes must be low carbon or ready for hydrogen by 2035. As a result, the change is coming and that means that the target of becoming net zero by 2050 now falls on all of us to play our part.
Homeowners are still able to get a FREE boiler grant or insulation grant via the ECO scheme, which is still available to households that qualify. Warma UK are currently working throughout the UK helping privately owned and rented homes to improve home energy efficiency and save money on rising energy bills.
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