Network July/August 2019

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DECARBONISATION NETWORK / 28 / JULY/AUGUST 2019 T he electricity and gas networks will play a key role in helping to deliver climate change. But what are some of the chal - lenges they're facing and how can the networks meet these ambi- tious targets? Editor Alec Peachey spoke to a number of the network operators to find out about the work they're doing in this area. Below are some of the questions asked, and the answers we heard. Q What have you done to reduce carbon emis- sions up to now? PJ: We have sought to reduce carbon emissions by making our network more efficient through steps taken to reduce system With the Government committing to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the UK to net zero by 2050, networks will be key in the facilitation of decarbonisation. Here, Network puts a special focus on the topic of climate change as part of its Network of the Future campaign. losses. In ED1 we have changed our design philosophies and discontinued our smaller sizes of cables and transformers to reduce overall losses. Our ac - tions in this area have saved over 870GWh of energy being generated to support losses in 2018/19 alone. JC: As a local powergrid we have two key roles. First, our most significant contribution is to facilitate the region we serve to reduce its emissions by con - necting more renewables. But we also need to 'walk the talk' and make a contribution in our own business operations. For us, climate change also means that we need to adapt our opera- tions to cope with the changing conditions. GC: We have a track record of transitioning the energy mix by connecting low carbon renewa- bles across our networks. We have facilitated around 30 per cent of the renewable genera- tion for the UK to connect to our network, even though we have just 14 per cent of the customer base. That means today we have 6.3GW of clean energy con - nected and a further 8.3GW to connect soon. IB: NIE Networks has led the way in connecting renewable generation to its network with over 1,650MW currently connect- ed representing 38.6 per cent of electricity consumed* (*in the 12 months between March 18 and March 19). Northern Ireland has moved from a position of having Achieving the right climate three main centralised power stations to a current position of c.20,000 distributed gener- ating sites. 93 per cent of this generation has been connected to the lower voltage distribution network by reinforcing the net - works and through innovative cluster substation schemes. IG: We have committed to medium and long-term targets to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. We've achieved our 2020 target ahead of schedule, cutting emissions by 64 per cent compared with the 45 per cent target and we are on track to achieve our longer-term target of reducing emissions by 80 per cent (of 1990 levels) by 2050. The majority of our greenhouse gas emissions come from gas

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