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UK's Pledge to Net Zero

How the Energy Sector is Fuelling the Race to Net Zero

By Consult Energy
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With almost a third of the largest businesses in the UK getting on board with the Government’s commitment to becoming carbon negative by 2050, the race to net zero has put the energy industry under the microscope.

The latest Sixth Carbon Budget target of slashing carbon emissions by a whopping 78% by 2035 is ambitious and sets a clear precedent for the country. Every home and business in the UK will need to switch to clean energy to make this happen, which presents challenges to the energy industry as infrastructural changes will need to take place first.

While huge companies such as BT Group, Unilever and Sainsbury’s have been incredibly vocal about their pledges to net zero and becoming ‘green’ organisations, it’s still all eyes on energy with regards to how we make it happen.

Luckily, we’re not short of innovation in this industry and there are plenty of initiatives in place to help bring us closer to net zero every day. We’ve already had game-changing technology like solar panels and smart meters popularised in recent years, but we’ll need to up the ante in altering approaches to energy rather than just behaviours. From transforming the way we trade our energy to looking into smarter ways to consume it, there’s change on the horizon.

Energy as a Service

We’ve seen this type of model crop up in other sectors, from technology to healthcare. Now it’s time for energy to get a piece of the action.

We’re already beginning to see on-demand services emerging that place a focus on specific outcomes rather than energy units. The benefit of this would be that consumers only buy what they need. For instance, if they wanted to heat their home to a specific temperature then they would purchase a package that would only fulfil that need rather than paying for and using more. In a similar vein to smart meters, having this degree of awareness around the volume and cost of electricity it takes to perform a single task will encourage people to use less overall.

How do we get there on a national scale? Energy providers will need deep insight into how, when and where their customers use power in order to come up with an intelligent suite of products to appeal to the masses. We’d predict an influx in data science and modelling roles to bolster this type of innovation and ensure it’s well considered.

Sustainable fuels

The UK has already seen a huge transformation as a result of the improved accessibility to renewable energy, but there are some new players entering the field. Sustainable hydrogen is set to be a big part of the UK’s decarbonisation.

Sustainable hydrogen may sound like an oxymoron given that it usually requires fossil fuel to create, but new processes have been brought in that utilise electrification resulting in a low-carbon option.

If the industry can get this off the ground, we’ll be able to secure a greener future in typically fossil fuel heavy industries like transport and raw materials manufacturing to name a few.

While the technology is ready and waiting, the real issue lies in regulatory and financial frameworks. We don’t have these systems in place yet to be able to standardise the production and distribution of sustainable hydrogen. Hopefully with an injection of funding and some serious regulations and compliance talent – we’ll be running on hydrogen in no time.

Peer to peer energy trading

Soon it will become commonplace for your average person to generate their own renewable energy, store it, and share it with their local community.

Handing more control over to the consumer to store and distribute their own supply of energy is a great way to support our net zero goals. Not only would this empower customers to make better decisions when it comes to their energy usage, but considerably eases the strain on the national supply through wider spread use of solar panels and battery storage. Also, the utilisation of renewable energy would skyrocket once people got wind of how lucrative localised energy trading could become for them, whether they opt to sell it back to the grid or to their community.

This would, of course, mean big changes to the existing digital infrastructure and centralised systems. A transformation project on this scale is likely going to be necessary whether peer to peer trading takes off or not, given the government’s own changes to energy wholesale as part of their net zero plan.

Building a new workforce

So far, the race to net zero requires a lot of skills and talent: from scientists to software engineers and developers. According to the National Grid, net zero is going to create the need for 400,000 new jobs between now and 2050 if we are to meet our target. Naturally, with all these new skills in demand in the energy industry, many organisations are in the process of building their own net zero teams right now.

Whether it’s going in swinging by creating a dedicated team with a Head of Net Zero, scientists and engineers from the off, or starting small – we’d love to hear about your plans to handle the change of pace net zero is set to bring.

Get in touch with us through our website, or connect with us on LinkedIn to join the discussions we have about the UK energy market and recruitment.

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Our latest job opportunities

Added 2 days ago

EIA – Associate Director

Job Reference: 3405

Added 7 days ago

Senior Management Accountant

Job Reference: 3403

  • Location

    Warwickshire

  • Money

    £50,000 - £60,000

  • Contract

    Permanent

Added 23 Nov 2021

Senior Application Engineer

Job Reference: 3400

  • Location

    Windsor

  • Money

    £50,000 - £60,000

  • Contract

    Permanent

Added 23 Nov 2021

Finance Analyst

Job Reference: 3398

  • Location

    Blackpool

  • Money

    £20,000 - £25,000

  • Contract

    Permanent

Added 19 Nov 2021

Full Stack Developers

Job Reference:

  • Money

    £35,000 - £75,000

  • Contract

    Permanent

Added 18 Nov 2021

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Specialist – Contract

Job Reference: 3389

  • Location

    Remote

  • Money

    £250 / £300 Per Day Inside IR35

  • Contract

    Contract

Added 18 Nov 2021

Business Development Manager

Job Reference: 3385

  • Location

    London

  • Money

    £40,000-£60,000

  • Contract

    Permanent

Added 16 Nov 2021

Operational Excellence Improvement

Job Reference: 3381

  • Location

    Nottingham

  • Money

    Up to £55000

  • Contract

    Permanent

Added 16 Nov 2021

Tech Specialist/DBA

Job Reference: 3370

  • Location

    London, England

  • Money

    £50,000 - £70,000

  • Contract

    Permanent

Added 16 Nov 2021

Business Analyst

Job Reference: 3335

  • Location

    London

  • Money

    Up to £45000

  • Contract

    Permanent

Added 16 Nov 2021

Business Development Manager

Job Reference: 3373

  • Location

    Remote with UK wide travel

  • Money

    £40,000 - £50,000

  • Contract

    Permanent

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Audit and Assurance Manager

Job Reference: 3380

  • Location

    Hampshire

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    £40,000 - £45,000

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