“Natural gas is absolutely crucial and we are going to use more of it before we use less,” according to Centrica CEO, Iain Conn.
Speaking at Aurora’s Spring Forum, Conn suggested using hydrogen for heating is “unlikely to be practical”. He said British Gas, instead of installing boilers in homes, will ultimately install heat pumps, “and be in business long after natural gas [use] disappears”. However, he added, “it will be quite a long time before we get to that point”.
Aurora’s John Feddersen launched the conference by citing a need to build out 400-600GW of renewable energy globally per annum for the next 30 years to meet increasing demand, including electrification of transport, and climate goals. That broadly equates to a Hornsea One offshore wind farm coming on stream stream every day from now until 2050.
Asked if that could be achieved, Conn suggested distributed generation in combination with centralised renewables projects may be able to deliver. But he suggested that the headline generation figure could first be significantly reduced.
“Energy efficiency is the thing that gives me most hope,” said Conn, “and we have barely scratched the surface”.