The UK’s goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 requires a significant transition towards a zero-carbon power grid and the electrification of heavy industry, according to a new report by the Aldersgate Group.

The report highlights that decarbonising energy intensive industry will be challenging, but necessary to meet the net-zero target. To achieve this, Aldersgate Group highlighted 15 key recommendations, from committed action planning to developing regulatory frameworks.

‘The route to reach net zero’

In order to successfully decarbonise power and industry reliance on fossil fuel, the report calls for around 200GW of low carbon energy structure in the UK within the next 12 years. This entails a 70% drop in UK emissions by 2035 and a 90% drop by 2040.

Simultaneously, the report states that clean and affordable electricity will be essential for the market to maintain its competitive advantage – and for the UK to achieve its net zero goals.

Aldersgate Group senior policy officer Laith Whitwham said: “Decarbonising industrial processes might be a significant challenge, but it’s one that offers UK sectors like steel, cement and chemicals the opportunity to compete in new, quickly growing markets for greener goods.”

The report also states that electrification of energy intensive industry will require significant investment in new infrastructure, such as electrified rail networks and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. The report calls for the government to introduce policies and regulations to support this transition, such as a zero-emission vehicle mandate and the phasing out of gas boilers.

National Grid future markets manager for heat decarbonisation Niki Kesharaju added: “Decarbonising energy-intensive industrial processes will be crucial to ensure the UK meets its net-zero targets, and the recommendations in this report set out ambitious action to help drive progress.”