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The future of Gas – National Grid sets out its plans

December 16, 2019 featured image

The National Grid has recently published the 2019 Gas Ten Year Statement, a document created annually that sets out the future of gas supply for the next decade.

We’re living in an interesting time at the moment; faced with tackling climate change the government has set targets to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050 – where does gas fit into this picture?

What does the National Grid’s report say?

The report suggests that the gas network will continue to play a pivotal role in heat, industry and flexible power generation. The report doesn’t just cover natural gas – it paints a greener future where low-carbon gases, such as biomethane and hydrogen, could play a key role in decarbonising the energy sector and supporting the UK’s transition to zero emissions.

What’s impacting the gas network?

The National Grid’s main responsibility is transporting gas around the nation through a network of 7,660 km of pipeline known as the National Transmission System. The key drivers of change that impact this supply are:

Customer needs – both immediate and long term. These are always changing and cover energy security as well as supply. As our stock of natural gas from the UK Continental Shelf continues to dwindle, the UK is becoming more reliant on imported gas not only from continental Europe, but worldwide sources.

Changes in legislation – National Grid has to fall in-line with minimum emissions standards that come into force in 2023 as well as IGEM’s review of gas quality standards, developing supply sources to fulfil the need for a variety of gas mixes to eventually replace natural gas.

Net Zero targets by 2050 – gas undoubtedly has an important role to play in supporting the transition to a decarbonised energy future. The future of hydrogen looks positive and during the last year National Grid launched a programme to identify the opportunities and address the challenges of transporting hydrogen within the current gas network system. If we do move over to hydrogen in our towns and cities, gas installers will be best placed to make any changes required.

Asset Management – this is another challenge, with much of the network dating back to the 1970’s. Asset health accounts for over 50% of the National Grid’s expenditure plan. Over the last year the £130 million has been invested to keep the network running safely and reliably.

Join a future proof sector

The National Grid’s commitment to support the move towards a sustainable and decarbonised future is exciting. Becoming involved with a sector spear-heading change for the good could be a rewarding career path, making upskilling into the gas sector a ‘future proof’ option.

For more information on our gas courses, including new entrants routes into gas, click here

To download the National Grid’s full report, click here.

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