Two questions come to mind when you consider zero carbon emissions within the next 14 years. First, is it possible? It seems like an insurmountable challenge to go from our current reliance on carbon-rich energy sources to the point of net zero in such a short time. Yet, the second question is: do we have any choice?
The Government announced a target of a 78% reduction in net carbon emissions by 2035, and the scientists said it wasn’t enough. According to the BBC, despite this being described as a “world-leading position”, it is likely not ambitious enough to counter the warming by more than 1.5 degrees. Many fear that such a warming of the climate would cause a disastrous cascade effect.
There are many ways policymakers can ensure we move towards the necessary carbon reduction and more. First, it would require more electric cars on the roads and a ban on the production of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. Such a move will require an extensive installation of electric points, most likely attached to our homes.
There has also been a push to vegan and plant-based diets, as meat and dairy production is a significant emitter of harmful gases, including methane. If we switched to plant over other products, we would have the double effect of reducing output while putting in nature’s means of scrubbing carbon from the atmosphere. According to researchers reported in the Independent, “cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73 per cent.”
The Climate Change Committee (CCC), an independent think tank that advises the Government, is ambitious. They believe around 1% of GDP, our national wealth would need to be spent shifting the UK away from its reliance on fossil fuels over the next 30 years. For those in the oil and gas sector, it is the consequence on energy production from this drive for carbon neutrality that is most relevant. How can energy companies stay relevant in a time when we are moving away from fossil fuels?
The role of hydrogen
An energy source whose only output is water is a likely answer to demands for zero carbon emissions in a country that demands high energy production. While grey hydrogen production is no better than other fossil fuel use, the new Teesside hydrogen plant proposed by BP will produce blue hydrogen.
Blue hydrogen uses natural gas to produce hydrogen and commits to carbon capture measures to neutralise emissions. Hydrogen flow measurement becomes an essential means of measuring output from the plant, and whether it is meeting ambitious targets of 1GW of power, a fifth of the Government’s hopes for hydrogen in the country.
In the future, the hope would be to use green hydrogen, with production powered from renewable energy. However, realistically, the march towards the 2035 target date is more likely met with blue hydrogen and net-zero energy production, as green hydrogen is prohibitively expensive at this time.
Ex~i Flow is proud to be part of this mission, as our flow computers are essential in hydrogen flow measurement. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about how flow measurement supports increased energy production accuracy and efficiency.