Pathways to Net-Zero: Decarbonizing the Gas Networks in Great Britain

Guidehouse studies the role of low carbon and renewable gases in decarbonization pathways to reach net-zero emissions by 2050

Guidehouse was commissioned by Energy Networks Association (ENA) to explore the role that the gas sector can play in the decarbonization of the Great Britain (GB) energy system. The report, published today, demonstrates that low carbon and renewable gases can make a fundamental contribution to the decarbonization pathway to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. This report is the first to describe a viable pathway to 2050 for decarbonized gas since the government committed to its net-zero target.

The report, independently reviewed by Imperial College, sets out a detailed plan to deliver a zero-carbon gas system, with clear regulatory, technical, and operational actions that need to take place to achieve it. The plan is built around four core elements that work together to reduce the overall cost and disruption of decarbonizing the energy system: low carbon and renewable gases; electrification; energy efficiency; and carbon capture, utilization, and storage.

“The report from Guidehouse is a timely contribution to the debate on achieving net-zero emissions in the UK,” said Adam Hawkes, director, Sustainable Gas Institute at Imperial College London. “It reinforces the insight that decarbonization is more cost effective, and pathways are more plausible, when multiple complimentary sources of energy are utilized.”

Richard Bass, director in Guidehouse’s Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure segment added, “To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, urgent action is required across all fronts and the gas networks must have a prominent role. Our analysis demonstrates that there are technically viable and cost-effective pathways for low carbon and renewable gas to contribute to the decarbonization of the GB energy system.”

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