National Grid highlights ‘crucial’ role for gas in energy mix

Clear guidance on the direction of UK Government policy is needed if gas is to continue to play its “crucial role for many decades to come”, according to a new report by National Grid.

The grid operator highlighted gas’s role in making heating, industry and transport greener.

But the report noted how the UK reliance on gas is at odds with ministers’ Clean Growth Strategy.

Some 80% of homes in the UK currently use gas for heating, while gas was burned to generate 42% of the country’s electricity in 2016.

Carbon capture and storage

National Grid highlighted roles for hydrogen, biogases and carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) in decarbonising the gas system.

But it noted that “the ability to keep options open is key”.

Luke Warren, Chief Executive of the Carbon Capture & Storage Association (CCSA), said: “We strongly support National Grid’s recommendation that the first CCUS projects must be in operation in the 2020s.

“Industry and government must now work together to deliver a CCUS deployment pathway that enables the UK to benefit from this critical technology.”

Economic opportunity

The report noted the effect that decarbonising the gas system could have on the wider economy.

It said: “Pioneering in this field will allow the UK to create new industrial and export opportunities through innovation, skills and services.

“This can be through utilising the UK’s existing strengths from the oil and gas sectors, as well as new opportunities from moving to a hydrogen economy, utilising biogases and low carbon heat networks.”

> Download the report