Energy challenge

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April 2016

We have now published the results from our stakeholder consultation 'Have Your Say' that closed January 2016.  We were delighted with the number of responses that we received and the feedback that was provided.  The feedback has identified some key areas for us to focus on for 2016/17. Thanks to all those that took part.  We will be providing an update on our progress in November.

Stakeholder consultation results


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National Grid Gas Distribution
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Energy challenge

Animated video   Where does energy come from? 


In the UK, the energy sector faces significant challenges related to the declining gas reserves in the North Sea; our latest forecast is that the UK will import around 46% of its gas requirements by 2010/11 and 69% by 2018/19.

The UK is also committed to some challenging environmental targets over the coming decades:

  • The UK Climate Change Act (2008) – reducing CO2 by at least 26% by 2020 and greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050
  • European Union target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% by 2020
  • Legally-binding UK targets to deliver cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, with 15% of our energy
    to come from renewable sources by 2020 – which equates to 30% of electricity from renewable sources

Meeting these challenges will lead to a more complex combination of energy sources, and at the heart of the challenge for National Grid’s Gas Distribution business is the need to become more flexible and innovative. Our networks will need to change to facilitate the connection of renewable gas injected into the local distribution network, and to adapt to changes with more intermittent electricity which will, in the future, be increasingly used in conjunction with gas as a heating solution.

With 2020 just a decade away, there is a sense of urgency across the industry, and a broad consensus that the earlier action is taken, the greater the chances of successfully delivering on the UK’s targets. This transformation will require significant capital investment for the energy industry as a whole.

Given the central role National Grid plays in the energy industry, we are committed to taking a leading position, alongside governments and regulators, in shaping and facilitating the future energy landscape.  Acting as: an innovator in the development of ideas and technologies; partner to create and support a framework through which new technologies can be demonstrated; and contributing actively to the development of policy.

The Energy Networks Association, of which National Grid are an active member, in April 2010 commissioned Redpoint and Trilemma to undertake a long-range scenario-based modelling study of the future utilisation of gas out to 2050, and the consequential impacts of this for gas networks.  The final report from this study, which shows that gas could play a major ongoing role in the GB energy mix while meeting both the 2050 carbon targets and the 2020 renewable energy targets, has now been published. 

To help us meet our 2020 and 2050 targets, whilst maintaing security of supply, National Grid Gas Distribution is embarking on a number of initiatives:

  • Renewable gas has the potential to make a significant contribution to renewable energy targets, while also helping to provide diversity & security of supply. National Grid is working to facilitate this important  innovation through the development of renewable gas projects.  We have published the Potential for Renewable Gas in the UK document which outlines this important technology.
  • National Grid Gas Distribution are also tackling fuel poverty and promoting energy efficiency through its Affordable Warmth Programme managed by Affordable Warmth Solutions (a Community Interest Company) The company brings together funding partners, local authorities and communities to provide efficient gas connections and new gas heating systems for the fuel poor.  

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