Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

UK can be zero carbon by 2030, claims report

A massive expansion in offshore wind, a switch to electric vehicles and steps to halve household energy demand could help the UK cut emissions to zero by 2030, a report has claimed.

The report from the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) said the country could be “zero-carbon” by the end of the next decade, while still keeping the lights on and not relying on nuclear power.

The study said energy demand in buildings could be halved through a number of steps including improving insulation, cutting draughts and improvements in the efficiency of heating technology.

It called for “whole house” refurbishments to improve energy efficiency and new houses to be built from natural materials such as wood and straw to lock in carbon, as part of efforts to cut overall emissions.

The report said there should be a switch to electric vehicles, which would generate 50% less carbon dioxide than petrol or diesel cars under the current energy mix in which electricity is generated from fossil fuels.

As the grid is “decarbonised”, electrical vehicles will be greener still, and although they will raise demand for electricity, “smart charging” - in which they are charged up overnight when power demand is low - will limit the extra pressure on the grid.

Domestic flights would be replaced with bus or rail travel, with fewer journeys taken overall.

Better town planning would be needed to minimise the distances people need to go and maximise the opportunities for walking, cycling and public transport.

A CAT spokeperson said: “Zero Carbon Britain 2030 shows how with the right mix of wind power, hydro, solar, biomass - plus an intelligent grid to manage demand - we can ‘keep the lights on’ and supply the energy the country needs - with major win-wins across the economy.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.