Tags: energy

Climate Change is one of the most critical challenges ever faced by humankind. When the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel warned us in 2018 that we had less than 12 (now 9) years to avoid climate breakdown, it was no sensationalist headline or lazy clickbait. It was the considered view of world-renowned experts that we are in danger of creating an unsustainable future for the generations to come.
When the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC) secured £1.5 million funding to support the development of a comprehensive decarbonisation plan starting in February this year, it was an acknowledgement that the second largest industrial emitter in the UK (South Wales releases the equivalent of 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, through industrial and energy generation) was taking serious steps on the road to become a net zero region by 2050.
When Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined his Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution in November 2020, it was no coincidence that Point 1 and Point 2 - the generation of Offshore Wind and production of Hydrogen power - focused on delivering clean and green energy capable of powering every UK home by 2030.
Wales as a country can lay claim to a special place in the hydrogen economy, with the fuel cell being invented in 1842 by none other than William Grove of Swansea. Sir William (as he became known) may have been underwhelmed by our reliance on coal, oil and gas over the past 180 years - and he would also probably have to accept that the 2050 picture of a decarbonised economy is likely to be composed of a blend of energies working in harmony to meet the many needs of individuals, communities, industries and infrastructures. But, on thing is sure, low carbon Hydrogen will undoubtedly be a significant feature in that picture, as its potential for reducing Green House Gas emissions is increasingly being recognised by Governments around the world; and it’s already being mooted as a key pillar in the Welsh Government’s Low Carbon Delivery Plan (LCDP) due to be unveiled in November 2021.
Last week, we introduced our series of Energy and Sustainability features with an overview of the challenges that lie ahead in delivering a net-zero carbon emissions region by 2050 - and the immense economic and social opportunities that can be grasped if we achieve our aims. The scale and pace of transformation towards these goals is quite literally breath-taking, with new initiatives and programmes emerging on an almost daily basis.
Given the UK Government’s newly-launched commitment to “build back greener” on the foundations of Wales’ distinctive low-carbon and renewable energy resources, and in alignment with the Welsh Government’s decarbonised pathway towards a ‘Whole Energy System’, CCR is today launching a series of articles highlighting the work already being done, the huge changes ahead - and the undoubted opportunities we have to build a low carbon region where ‘prosperity for all’ is a very real possibility. In this first feature, we look at the ‘big picture’ that we face as a region, a country - and as a species.   

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