June 18, 2018 Read More →

New England utility National Grid aims for 80% CO2 cut by 2050

Utility Dive:

New research from RMI last week illustrates that broad decarbonization will require efforts across many sectors, including shifting building heat to electric. National Grid’s 80×50 strategy takes a similar approach, calling for “three big shifts in our energy systems” that could reduce emissions 40% by 2030 and 80% within three decades.

The plan calls for transforming the heating sector by doubling the rate of efficiency retrofits and “converting nearly all of the region’s 5 million oil-heated buildings to electric heat pumps or natural gas.” On the power generation side, National Grid’s plan includes adding more renewable electricity to achieve a 67% zero-carbon supply. And the utility will work to electrify the transportation sector, setting a goal of more than 10 million electric vehicles on Northeast roads—amounting to about half of all vehicles.

Looking past 2030 to the 80% target, National Grid said the region will require “deeper and more sustained technological innovation on both the grid side and customer side of the meter, coupled with ambitious policy.”

The plan says natural gas will continue to play a major role, even with added renewables, and nuclear generation will remain in the mix as well.

In the utility’s plan, however, new gas demand in the residential sector is offset by energy efficiency, so even as the “number of residential natural gas customers rises significantly, total usage grows at a comparatively modest pace over the period.”

More: National Grid targets 80% carbon cut across buildings, transport, power

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