Power generation will need to double – or triple if hydrogen is to be produced by electrolysis – to decarbonise heat and transport, according to its latest report.
That means massive increases in both renewables and new nuclear power, including small reactors, which alongside industrial heat pumps could enable the required 12-fold expansion of district heating networks, states the report.
The Energy Systems Catapult said while reforming methane and capturing emissions via CCS could represent the lowest cost approach to hydrogen production, “given implementation risks for these, electrolysis remains an important option for bulk production as well as offering unique opportunities for integration of renewables and more distributed hydrogen production”.
Major and rapid advances in both heat and power storage are also required.
All of the above requires a considered mix of market, pricing and regulatory interventions to shape market incentives across the economy, per the report.
The UK will also need to plant up to 50,000 hectares of forest a year, cut meat and dairy production and consumption by up to half, and fly less to decarbonise the economy, the report states.
Download the report here.