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UK Electrical Manufacturing Sector Commits To Net-Zero

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By EnviroVent Sep 16, 2019

24 of the largest and most innovative electrotechnical manufacturing companies – are today announcing a major commitment to reduce their emissions to net zero by 2050.

The commitment will be unveiled at an event at One Great George Street marking the launch of a new report by BEAMA, the trade body for manufacturers and providers of energy infrastructure technologies and systems. 

The Net Zero By Design report and an accompanying joint letter from pledge signatories warn that setting the net-zero target in legislation alone will not be enough to achieve net-zero. Investment in the low carbon sector to date has been impeded by the lack of stable and effective regulation, and national leadership is urgently needed to drive the rapid deployment of these technologies which will be crucial if the UK is to meet its international climate change commitments.

The report contains a list of policy recommendations on how the Government can spearhead growth in the electricity market and make the UK a world leader in new technology markets for smart flexible electrical systems – including more clarity about the future direction of regulation, reform of building regulations, a carbon price for heat, and reduced VAT for low carbon technologies.

The BEAMA report aligns closely with recommendations from the Committee on Climate Change, which published its own Net Zero paper arguing that while the technology is primed and ready to make this 2050 target feasible, it will only be reached through strong leadership from the Government. 

Dr Howard Porter, CEO, BEAMA, said:

“This is a cross party, cross industry, global coordination challenge at an unprecedented level - current markets for renewables and certain low carbon technologies essential for the energy transition, including storage, are struggling to gain the levels of investment needed to radically decarbonise our UK electricity infrastructure, buildings and transport system.  This is a great opportunity to be grasped by UK Government and drive growth in the UK market.” 

Mike Hughes, Zone President, Schneider Electric UK & Ireland, said:

“Time is short and we need to act quickly if we are to combat climate change.  At Schneider Electric we are fully behind the BEAMA initiative and support the UK government commitment to achieving a zero-carbon economy by 2050.  
We believe that demonstrating the commercial viability of net-zero is key.  Whilst switching to renewables and reducing the use of fossil fuels is critical, we cannot achieve net zero without also tackling waste.  Our own research has found that 84% of business leaders are torn between the perceived cost of tackling waste and doing the right thing.  Yet reducing a business’s energy use by 30% can equate to a 10% reduction in operating costs.  The technologies exist today to reduce waste but much more needs to be done to incentivise, legislate and encourage behaviour change if we are to create a sustainable future.”

Marc Overson, Mitsubishi Electric UK, said:

“Strong, clear long-term policy signals and legislation ‘is a key driver for our business - Government need to limit business risk and in doing so, investment will move into the UK market. As of today, the UK Government is not reducing that risk and this does not warrant a significant shift in resources.”

John Griffiths, CEO, Lucy Electric, said:

“Lucy Electric is fully supportive of the aims of the BEAMA Net Zero campaign. Our business and the rest of the industry is working hard to manage the complex mix of new technologies, which is driving the decarbonisation of the UK’s electricity supply. But this must be supported by Government action. The industry needs a regulatory framework which reflects the Government’s green policy ambitions and enables innovation and the development of the marketplace, if we are to meet the UK’s Net Zero Emissions target.”

Mark Wilkins, Vaillant, said:

“We are very pleased to be supporting this event and the publication of BEAMA’s Net Zero by Design Report. The industry is committed to achieving the ambitious net zero by 2050 targets but needs the support of Government with a clear policy framework and pathway to make it happen”

Stephen Currier, Country Manager UK&I, Eaton, said:

“In the UK and across Europe, wind and solar power will dominate electricity generation from the early 2020s due to powerful drivers including statutory requirements to meet the global Paris climate agreement, the falling cost of solar panels and wind turbines, rising carbon prices and the electrification of transport and heating. As a result, electricity supply will also be increasingly variable. To avoid resulting, higher system costs, flexibility must become the new cornerstone of the grid.  This will require Governmental policies that provide the regulatory certainty needed to spur private investment in the flexibility technologies and business models needed to smooth out this variability, for example by aligning peaks in demand with peaks in supply of wind and solar power."

Rory Percival, Head of R&D and Technical, EnviroVent, said:

"We’re proud to be involved with BEAMA’s Net-Zero by design report. The report contains policy recommendations to Government and a major commitment from some of the leading electrotechnical manufacturing companies to reduce their emissions to net zero by 2050. Achieving net zero emissions will be a huge task but a vitally important one and the launch of this initiative shows how seriously this is being taken by industry."

We will keep you up-to-date as the project get's underway to any updates and results.