Competing demands on land use in the UK are putting the nation’s Net Zero target at risk, according to a new report.
Land is under growing pressure from renewable generation, green infrastructure, industry, affordable housing, food security and biodiversity, pointed out the report from law firm TLT and real estate consultancy Gerald Eve.
A more robust and flexible national planning policy and clarity around the priority given to different land uses would allow local authorities to make land use allocations which best benefit local communities and work towards Net Zero.
The research also said that current grid structure will need a complete overhaul to support the levels of renewable generation necessary to achieve Net Zero and ensure UK energy security. Increased investment in the grid should be encouraged by updates to local and national planning policy.
Maria Connolly, Head of Future Energy and Real Estate at TLT, said: “A period of monumental transformation lies ahead for the UK if we are to reach Net Zero by 2050. A comprehensive overhaul of the existing grid infrastructure is needed to support increased renewable energy generation, distribution, storage, and stability, and complementary technologies such as hydrogen electrolysis and carbon capture.
“Maximising land use is a critical part of this, to support the creation of a system that can deliver Net Zero.”