Energy & Power Generation News, September 2020

The UK is achieving less than half of the required build rate to deliver energy systems that will reach net-zero emissions by 2050, according to a new whitepaper from engineering consultancy Atkins.

The “Race to Net-Zero” whitepaper explores the capacity requirements of low-carbon technologies based on the Committee on Climate Changes’ (CCC) recommendations to the UK Government on the net-zero legislation. Under the requirement, Atkins has found that 48 natural gas units, 66 biomass facilities, six nuclear power stations, and 6,520 offshore wind turbines will be required

Additionally, undefined unit numbers for the 20GW of onshore wind, 80GW of solar, and 15-30GW of energy storage are required to meet net-zero and will need to be facilitated. Based on these estimates, Atkins has calculated that the UK is currently achieving 43% of the required build rate.

Atkins’ market director for power generation assets, nuclear and power Dr David Cole said: “Market intervention in the UK offshore wind industry saw the cost of construction and electricity come down, resulting in the UK now being a global leader in deploying renewables. Similar intervention is now required across nuclear, new technologies and other energy sources so that the UK energy industry can construct the above number of facilities in enough time.”

Powerhouse Energy Group has raised £5m and agreed a separate deal for a potential investment of up to £10m as part of the development of its technology to produce hydrogen from waste plastic.

The money is to support the first commercial-scale installation at Protos, a Peel L&P energy park development near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

Powerhouse, an AIM-listed business based near Bradford, says the technology it has developed is “one of the world’s first proven, distributed, modular, hydrogen from waste (HfW) process”.

Dr Cameron Davies, chairman of Powerhouse, said: “The board is confident this funding will facilitate Powerhouse to complete the first projects, reach profitability and roll out its international growth strategy.”

Protos is the first of a number of potential developments alongside Peel and Powerhouse’s chief executive David Ryan said the investment “cements the already close relationship between the two companies”.


The government has launched a consultation to scale up green gas and reduce emissions from the gas grid.  The consultation includes a potential Green Gas Levy to reduce emissions from the gas grid and help the UK reach its net zero target by 2050.

The new levy will be applied to gas suppliers in Scotland, Wales and England, and will be used to increase green gas production to help decarbonise the gas grid.

Supported by the new Green Gas Levy, the UK government is helping people across Great Britain go green on their energy supplies, with plans to scale up green gas production to heat around 230,000 homes.

Green gas – or biomethane – is produced from environmentally-friendly organic waste products. Using more of this gas from renewable sources to power boilers in homes, or in industrial processes in factories, will help to lower carbon emissions and protect the environment without hitting consumers’ pockets.

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