The Net Zero Performance knowledge event saw companies discuss the opportunities and challenges surrounding net zero and provided a platform to review progress made in the region and plans to support the future.
Jim Cardwell, Head of Distribution System Operations at Northern Powergrid, explained how the company is enabling a future-ready energy system and supporting decarbonisation in the region.
Jim said: “Flexibility first will allow us to most efficiently meet increased connectivity needs. Our Distribution Network Operations division is about running a more flexible and dynamic operation. It helps us manage more complex power flows in a more sustainable way.”
Jim shared how the company is providing connections and measures to address transmission bottlenecks and said working with local authorities is an important channel for local decarbonisation.
He said: “We have taken a place-based approach to decarbonisation at a local level and have also supported publicly funded decarbonisation programs to support an increasingly dynamic electrified world.”
Phil Ingram, Senior Business Development Manager at Global Business Johnson Matthey, spoke about accelerating the net zero transition.
He said: “Hydrogen will be part of the solution. We provide the key technologies that enable the hydrogen economy and work with companies to quickly deliver affordable electrolytic hydrogen.”
Phil spoke about the company’s work in actively developing a pipeline of sustainable fuel projects around the world, as well as the company’s developed blue hydrogen technology to be deployed on Teesside.
Steve Scrimshaw, Vice President UK&I at Siemens Energy, spoke about supporting the energy transition through renewable energy.
Steve said: “Decarbonisation is the challenge of our generation. Those who came immediately before us failed to address the problem, those who come after us will be too late to address it.
“Net zero is diverse, not incremental – as we scale up renewables, we must also invest in transmission to be able to connect this new, renewable generation to our grid as the emerging hydrogen industry grows 10,000-fold in a decade “We should achieve our 10 GW target by 2030.
“Net zero is a team sport – it can only be achieved through collaboration.”
Lee Gibson, Plant Manager at Hartlepool Power Station, EDF Energy Nuclear Operations, gave a talk on supporting decarbonisation through nuclear power.
Lee said: “We are big supporters of net zero for the UK and making energy affordable for people. Our task is to produce low-carbon energy with an eye on the future and to accelerate these processes.”
Lee told how the company produces low-carbon energy through nuclear power or wind turbines, with an eye on more nuclear power plants to meet Britain’s needs.
“This would help decarbonise the whole of Teesside, which I think would be a major strategic step for the Government. Teesside is such a desirable place at the moment,” Lee said.
Northumbrian Water’s Zoe Frogbook reported on the company’s journey to net zero in the water industry.
The head of environment and sustainability said: “Protecting the environment is at the heart and purpose of Northumbrian Water. To achieve net zero we need to make the most of what is available to us, optimize processes and look at the energy we can produce ourselves.”
Northumbrian Water’s future actions to reduce carbon emissions include further optimization of their processes, large-scale solar energy and exploring new innovations.
Zoe added: “Innovation is an important part of our work. Local projects include a groundbreaking project to capture ammonia from wastewater and harness the power of algae to improve the treatment process.”
Darush Dodds, Director of Corporate Affairs at Esh Group, presented the company’s journey to become an even greener contractor.
Teesside is such a desirable place at the moment
He said: “Our carbon reduction plan covers emissions for the entire Esh Group. Our Even Greener strategy provides a roadmap to reduce our carbon emissions to zero with minimal offset.”
Darush added: “We have set ambitious green targets, including reducing carbon emissions from operations by 5% by 2027 and having 100% of our fleet fully electrified or low-carbon vehicles by 2035. We have also committed to Science Based program affiliated with Targets Initiative, which commits to both short-term and long-term net zero targets.”
To help reduce all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, the UK has made a number of ambitious commitments.
Changes being made at the national level include: Producing all electricity from clean sources by 2035, e.g. B. from wind, solar and nuclear projects; Ban on new petrol and diesel cars from 2030; and carbon capture is expected to remove between 20 and 30 million tons of CO2 annually by 2030.
Tim Marsden, knowledge manager at the chamber, said: “It was fascinating to hear from the region’s leading businesses about what they are doing to achieve net zero and the challenges they face.
“Collaboration between business and government is critical. We all have a role to play, from businesses to individuals, and it is important that we work together to ensure a more sustainable future for everyone.”