Letters: Achieving Net Zero with Smart Tech
David Lloyd, General Manager of Connected Energy Performance for Johnson Controls, comments on a recent report by former UK Energy Minister, Chris Skidmore, outlining new opportunities offered by a renewed drive towards net zero.
In a major review of the government’s net zero plans, a new report by net-zero tsar Chris Skidmore calls for a serious ‘step change’ in approach. The report, which digs into the economic opportunity of net zero, calls for action on phasing out gas boilers and providing longer-term funding certainty for major net zero projects by 2033, is an obvious sign that we must take serious collective action towards a low carbon economy at speed and scale.
Skidmore’s proposals include a plan of accelerated action with a decade-long mission to make heat pumps a widespread technology and a proposal to bring forward a ban on the installation of gas boilers to 2033 at latest, and he’s also discussed solar installation via favourable planning approvals. The report offers the clearest signal yet that unlocking low carbon potential across our built environment – a sector which contributes 40 per cent of global emissions – is critical to tackling both climate change and seizing on future opportunities. Another area that is highlighted is the limited skilled personnel available, which will put pressure on achieving Net Zero goals across all industries.
Businesses must consider implementing data driven energy efficient technology to drive real insights, AI/ML driven technologies to control their energy efficiency, and utilising heat pumps. Solar and new lighting technology coupled with renewable energy and green supply will accelerate us past these commitments if we all act quickly to reduce energy intensity and secure our energy supply for the long term. We have the platforms to ensure effective government and environmental compliance, it’s just a case of implementing them. As stated, specialist resource will be a challenge and waiting may mean failure on business environments, sustainability programmes and more concerning global goals.
Without smart tech, businesses can’t hope to start their journey to make the impactful changes they need to for themselves, the environment, and health of their teams.
Legacy infrastructure, lack of interactive control and gas heating within buildings will be a huge barrier to reaching the government’s net zero goals by 2030.
Success depends on the government, business leaders, and individuals like us to make the buildings we inhabit much more efficient. With millions of us facing fresh energy pain and climate change pressures mounting, there’s never been a better incentive or time to take action.
Head of Connected Energy JCI UK&I