US national grid targets net zero by 2050 – and calls for RNG to receive the same support as electricity
The America national grid has released a roadmap to achieve net zero by 2050, across its gas and electric power networks.
The ‘Net Zero by 2050 Plan’ builds on its recently announced Responsible Business Charter, which laid out the Company’s commitments to the environment, employees, customers, and communities.
The Charter set a series of targets to be achieved by 2030, including a 20% reduction in GHG emissions from the electricity and gas sold to customers.
RNG has a vital role in achieving net zero
Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) – biomethane – features large in the Net Zero by 2050 Plan. This states, “We will transition away from delivering traditional geologic natural gas to our customers to providing them with low- and zero-carbon renewable natural gas (RNG) and hydrogen.
“We will scale utilisation of RNG from sustainable biomass feedstocks (e.g., wastewater, landfills, food waste, livestock manure, and other), looking for the most readily scalable and affordable supplies for our customers.
“We have successfully been injecting RNG into our gas system since 1981, and we believe that it is time for this renewable resource to get the same policy support and recognition as renewable electricity.”
Speaking at the launch of the plan on October 9, Badar Khan (pictured), President, National Grid US, said, “Our Net Zero by 2050 Plan outlines our approach to exploring a wide range of solutions until we can deliver the affordable, reliable clean energy future our customers want and deserve – no later than 2050.
“We don’t have all the answers yet, and the path to both increase renewable energy and decarbonise heat will be challenging. We believe our electric and gas networks have a vital role in helping achieve net zero emissions and our announcement is the beginning of a transformative journey for our business.”
The Company’s Net Zero by 2050 Plan identifies 10 key areas of focus:
- Reducing demand through energy efficiency and demand response;
- Decarbonising the gas network through the use of RNG and hydrogen;
- Reducing methane emissions from our own gas network while working with the industry to reduce emissions through the entire value chain;
- Integrating innovative technologies to decarbonise heat;
- Interconnecting large scale renewables with a 21st century grid;
- Enabling and optimising distributed generation;
- Utilising storage;
- Eliminating SF6 (sulphur hexafluoride) emissions;
- Advancing clean transportation, and;
- Investing in large scale carbon management.