Digital Vision: COP26

Enabling Net Zero

Shaping the clean energy future

Shannon Soland, Global Head of Infrastructure & Operations, Commercial & Vendor Management, National Grid

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Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing our world right now. That’s why we’re determined to reach net zero, achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere with the amount removed. As well as our own direct emissions, we’re also committed to working with government and regulators in the UK and US to help them meet their own carbon reduction targets.

The role of data

Access to accurate data and the deployment of digital tools can help organisations to develop emissions reductions strategies that enable them to accelerate their progress towards delivering net zero, at the same time as delivering broader benefits through their value chains.

National Grid has developed a comprehensive plan to deliver Net Zero by 2050. For example, we are working hard to increase the use of renewable energy within a 21st century grid. Large-scale renewables resources, including solar, onshore wind and offshore wind, will play an essential role in the low-carbon future. Use of these abundant, clean and cost-effective natural resources needs to be increased by connecting them into communities. With investment required in effective transmission system, transformational technology is critical in helping to remove bottlenecks and unlock significant network capacity.

Connectivity and collaboration

It is also crucial to connect multiple renewable energy sources to the grid. Distributed generation (DG) means that electricity can be generated from renewable energy sources near the point of use, such as solar panels in people’s own homes, instead of from centralised power stations. With high amounts of DG coming onto the energy network, digital transformation is essential to create the intelligent grids of the future, alongside investments in advanced meter infrastructure.

Harnessing the potential of new innovative technologies to enhance benefits for customers and consumers is at the heart of everything we do at National Grid. The energy sector has a key role to play in creating a carbon-neutral energy system, supporting a green recovery post Covid-19, and delivering a cleaner future for everyone.

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