Keith Bastian, a renewable energy leader, dissects the government’s plans to build a low carbon future, detailed in its recent ‘Powering our Net Zero Future’ whitepaper
The UK has become reliant on producing energy from the consumption of fossil fuels. The acquisition of energy without fossil fuel seemed improbable only a few years ago. But with a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ on the horizon, clean energy acquisition has never been simpler.
In 2020, the UK went 67 days without using any coal-fired power for the first time in 138 years. Due to this, the government have announced that the ban on coal within the UK’s energy mix will be brought forward to 2024. Our reliance on coal power has drastically reduced as we have progressively introduced more and more renewable energy sources during the last decade.
Cleaner energy sources are becoming the norm. Nearly the majority (43%) of the UK’s total electricity is generated via renewable sources, and it seems that a sustainable future isn’t as unreachable as we thought when compared to the fact that 40% of the country’s electricity was acquired from coal-fired power just ten years ago. As the government sets targets in order to minimise our fossil fuel consumption, it has never been easier to begin our journey on the road to zero carbon.
In light of the Government’s recent whitepaper ‘Powering our Net Zero Future’, Keith Bastian discusses what the future might look like as we phase out the consumption of fossil fuel for energy. As CEO of electric home heating solutions provider Fischer Future Heat and award-winning sustainable energy provider Outfox the Market, Keith Bastian has long heralded the benefits of electricity in fuelling our sustainable future.
“It has never been clearer that the future is electric. Consumers and homeowners are continuing to find new ways to lead sustainable lives,” he said, “We are now looking at an objective-led pathway to a cleaner future for all.”
With over 20 years of experience in the heating industry, Keith can recall a time when starting an all-electric heating firm might have seemed foolish. His firm belief in eco-conscious electric heating was validated by the increasing popularity of electricity as an energy source in the subsequent years.
“Nowadays, everything you see is powered by electricity. Increasing consumer awareness and government-led mandates have majorly helped in the drive for renewable energy sources. Clean energy is no longer just a buzzword, but a driver of regulatory practice.”
The government’s latest whitepaper ‘Powering our Net Zero Future’ is clear evidence that ‘electricity is a key enabler to transition away from fossil fuels’. The document sets out the Prime Minister’s aims for a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’, something only achievable by ending our nation’s dependence on fossil fuel.
“It is imperative we eradicate the use of natural gas within our homes, in order for us to achieve the ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ proposed by the government,” Keith said.
“We must make the switch to renewable energy sources to future-proof our homes in the face of these zero-carbon targets. With continuing technological innovations, clean energy has never been so accessible for homeowners.”
Numerable domestic energy suppliers in the UK are choosing to switch to 100% renewable electricity. As the CEO of leading renewable energy supplier Outfox the Market, Keith is actively building a sustainable infrastructure for UK consumers.
“Centralised heating systems are an outdated, inefficient and costly heating alternative. They can often be the cause of uncomfortable temperatures, and are notoriously unadaptable,” he said, “Their popularity peaked at the height of the fossil fuel revolution. We are now several decades on and technology has greatly advanced, so why our many UK homes sticking with the same archaic heating systems?”
“We can make a world of difference by switching out central heating for more reliable and efficient alternatives. Electric radiators and thermal storage water systems are both sustainable and versatile heating alternatives that allow UK homeowners to begin working towards net zero carbon,” says Keith.
“I believe some of the population still associate electric heating with old, inefficient and costly storage heaters. Modern electric radiator systems couldn’t be any further from this out-of-date vision.”
Although we have depended on gas boilers for domestic heating for aeons now, research from Liao, Swainson & Dexter on efficiency and controllability has shown that heating water to then heat air is highly inefficient and leads to wasted energy, henceforth wasted natural resources.
There is enough evidence to prove the detrimental effects of gas boiler on the environment and it’s direct impact on the carbon levels in the atmosphere. It is noteworthy that gas boilers account for approximately one-fifth (21%) of Nitrogen oxides emissions in Greater London. There is lesser awareness on the significant contribution of gas boilers to the total NOx emissions.
“There needs to be a re-education for homeowners surrounding the realities of modern electric heating. More emphasis must be placed on replacing outdated gas boilers in current UK homes, rather than just focusing on installing them in new build homes. Grants, such as the Renewable Heat Incentive, have the power to influence homeowners to switch to renewable home heating solutions and help us reach our carbon targets by 2050.”
The government has proposed to end all sales of new petrol and diesel cars in addition to the changes set in the energy sector. The government aims to provide a £2.8 billion package of measures to support the vehicle industry and consumers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles. This will obviously have a positive effect on our environment by greatly reducing carbon emissions, and will allow us to reach the targets set sooner than predicted.
Is it possible to eradicate fossil fuel consumption for good? With some re-education and guidance, Keith Bastian believes it is more than possible:
“Renewable sources have never been so readily available to us, and for us not to take advantage of them would be a terrible mistake. It is time to move away from fossil fuels, for both our health and the health of our planet. Only together do we have the power to reach a ‘net-zero’ future. The time to act is now.”
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