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Last edited 12 Feb 2021
Solutions for meeting the UK's emissions targets
|The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has published a report setting out the steps that must be taken in order for the UK to meet its emissions targets by 2050.|
The timely roll-out of rapid charging points across the strategic road network and ‘smart’ charge points at domestic premises are considered key to realising the long-term potential of electric vehicles.
On power generation, the committee is clear that the government must ensure that there is strong policy going forward for new onshore wind and large-scale solar. It also calls for new programmes to be introduced to increase the viability of community ownership of low-carbon projects.
 The increasing need for energy storage
The report also examines the growing role for energy storage. It acknowledges that support for demonstration projects, wider trials and reaching a legal definition for the technology in order to provide regulatory clarity are each important steps in helping it to achieve commercialisation.
The true prize for demonstrating that energy storage could work at scale is the transformative impact that it would have on the renewable power sector. At present, the effectiveness of renewable power technologies is constrained by the intermittency of the elements on which they draw; wind and solar power are only viable when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining.
Energy storage provides the possibility of mitigating this by storing power and releasing it onto the grid when there is a need to do so. ICE has and continues to advocate for the government to provide the market with the right incentives - be that through maximising contracts for difference or via other mechanisms - to develop energy storage.
A combination of policy initiatives, across all parts of the economy, will be required in order for the UK to meet its net-zero emissions target by 2050. Those aimed at unlocking energy storage should certainly be a priority for development.
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ICE members with an interest or expertise in this area and are interested in getting involved through industry conversations or by writing on ICE's Infrastructure Blog are requested to kindly get in touch.
 About this article
This article was written by Ben Goodwin, ICE Lead Policy Manager. It was previously published on the ICE website in August 2019 entitled 'Select Committee report outlines solutions for meeting the UK’s emissions targets' and can be accessed HERE.
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