Greater Manchester in the UK has set out a bold ambition to become net zero carbon by 2038, aligning it with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
This target places Greater Manchester on an accelerated trajectory compared to the rest of the UK, which is set to reach carbon neutrality in 2050, 12 years later.
To support the ambition, a first-of-its-kind collaboration between Cadent and Electricity North West reveals that to hit the target, Greater Manchester must prioritise ways to use 25% less energy, despite a growing population and economy.
A new report by the two energy networks says if it can tackle energy inefficiency, ditch fossil fuel gas in favour or zero carbon hydrogen and use green electricity generated more locally, it has the opportunity to become an “energy transition lighthouse” for the rest of the UK – and beyond.
Decarbonisation Pathway for Greater Manchester says green gases such as hydrogen will most likely feature in a 2038 Greater Manchester (14TWh of its total energy).
Already being adopted by countries across the world, hydrogen is planned to be produced in large volume on Greater Manchester’s doorstep by the mid-2020s. It can then be delivered by a new pipeline into the city and wider region.
This is part of a UK-first project, backed by Cadent, called HyNet North West – offering reliable, on-demand and carbon neutral heat for homes and industry.
“We need to get this right first-time if Greater Manchester is going to be carbon neutral by 2038 and this report shows it can be done,” said Dr. Angela Needle, Director of Strategy at Cadent.
“We know we can bring the hydrogen needed, but that needs action now – at local and national government level – to back very deliverable projects like HyNet North West.”
“The Committee on Climate Change says that hydrogen is critical to UK achieving net zero. It is going to play a key role in the trickiest areas to decarbonise, heat and heavy transport.”
The report can be read in full here.