Published 16th March 2022
This is the third in a series of four insightful, evidence-based articles focused on steps to achieving Net Zero for the UK property sector.
As a world-leading geospatial technology company and creator of the country’s most advanced dataset on residential carbon emissions, we at Kamma have charted the legislative journey to Net Zero in 2050 by identifying a 4-step framework:
Describing and dissecting the path to Property Zero in four steps does more than illuminate it. It also provides a framework through which to assess government policy and the impact on industry, as well as advising and incentivising businesses and individuals to make environmentally informed decisions.
More importantly, it shows that it’s possible, through both public and private sector financing channelled at pace and scale towards a true green economy.
Download our full report or view an engaging, interactive version here:
This refers to the continued growth of the renewable energy sector in the UK, the most popular sources of which include wind, solar and water. It also includes the development of decentralised energy sources, referring to energy that is generated off the main grid. This includes decentralised energy from solar panels and wind turbines among others.
A significant advantage of this step is the fact that electricity is currently the most decarbonised energy sector due to its unique ability to integrate renewable energy sources. This means that expanding the decarbonised electricity infrastructure throughout the UK will be relatively easy compared with the other steps. Moreover, it is the one that, more than any other, allows for a real increase in energy efficiency.
Currently, 20% of housing emissions come from electricity consumption. By using renewables, the average house could save 13.4 million tonnes of carbon a year (for the whole sector), at a cost per tonne of £10,858. Therefore, it’s clear that a continued expansion of renewable energy production is a critically important step towards Net Zero and carbon neutrality for the housing sector.
Similar to the UK government’s Net Zero plans, Kamma also recommends focusing on upgrading insulation (fabric first improvements) to ensure that the heat and electricity produced will be better retained or utilised. Additionally, we also recommend upgrading devices (low energy lighting), as although it is known to reduce emissions, it is not outlined in official government strategies. More on that here.
To achieve Net Zero by 2050, a substantial increase in renewable and decarbonised electricity is required, especially to meet heightened demand from new sources such as electric vehicles.
The government has subsequently set out specific intermediary targets within this step. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that by 2035, 100% of the country’s electricity could come from renewables, but we are yet to see a concrete plan for how this will materialise. The UK government has also set a target to produce 40 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, an increase from 11 GW in 2020.
There are several factors inhibiting the achievability of these targets and the overall growth of decarbonised electricity, however.
From the 1990s to now, the cost of renewables has continued to drop. UK offshore wind costs have drastically declined in the past few years, which has enabled a wider uptake of renewable energy and allowed the government to reach more of its renewable energy targets. In 2019, Yorkshire and the Humbler generated the highest amount of electricity from renewable sources in England, measured at around 23 terawatt-hours.
In 2021, offshore and onshore wind was the biggest source of renewable energy in the UK. It surpassed other renewable sources by 13.8% of total electricity generated, also beating the combined generation of coal, oil and others by 6.5%.
However, possible obstacles obscuring these renewable targets come in the form of availability. The supply of renewable energy needs to increase significantly to support the targeted demand. For example, in 2021, gas and power prices increased as the National Grid was restricted to using them due to shortages of global supply, low wind supply and the closure of UK coal plants.
Kamma’s third step, decarbonising electricity, will be tackled on the supply side, through an expansion of the UK’s world-leading wind-power capacity, the growth of tidal power and a return to nuclear power. The UK government has previously announced the aim of quadrupling wind power in order to generate enough power for every home in the country.
The IEA, however, specifically talks about the decentralisation of energy (i.e., switching the primary supply of electricity from central power stations to homes and properties) as a key step on the path to Net Zero, whilst many local authorities are driving a rapid roll-out of solar to social housing.
If homes can generate their own electricity requirements in a zero-carbon way, Kamma’s view is that they should, leaving the vast increases in renewable energy to service the large needs of industry. The lack of incentives or support for home solar, for example, suggests this is not the UK government’s view.
One of the reasons behind the creation of Kamma’s 4-step pathway to Property Zero was to assess government policy and the efficacy of their supposed strategy. On the path to Net Zero by 2050, the decarbonisation of electricity can play a pivotal role. Continuing the growth and expansion of the UK’s world-leading renewable energy infrastructure could, theoretically, ensure 100% of the country’s electricity is produced by renewable sources by 2035.
Yet what brings us hope is that the electricity sector has already gone through substantial decarbonisation efforts and there is a clear plan to decarbonise the sector further. The fact that renewables accounted for 43% of the UK’s domestic power generated in 2020 shows that we can dramatically decarbonise our electricity supply in a way that reduces costs and supports the economy. Therefore, Kamma believes that the decarbonisation of electricity is the model that all other sources should aim to follow.
With our extensive report, we also hoped to create an easily consumed and understandable narrative to engage and mobilise the country toward Net Zero. Collectively, we can all be a part of this journey, and by raising the level of awareness and debate, we ensure a swifter and more efficient path to carbon neutrality for UK homes.
Contact us now to find out more about how Kamma can support your business’ drive to Property Zero.
At Kamma we care about cutting through the noise and giving you the latest news and updates on property licensing. Each month, we give you a full rundown of the latest scheme announcements and property licensing news in the Kamma Property Licensing Update. Total fines for letting agents and landlords in London have now surpassed […]Read article
Fuel poverty could hit 42% of Private Rented Sector households as it is expected to more than double in England. Unequal support across sectors has helped the social housing sector to more than halve fuel poverty (pre-crisis), the PRS by only a third. The UK government could reduce fuel poverty by 56.6%, if they spend their £9.1bn […]Read article
Total fines for letting agents and landlords in London have now surpassed £7.5 million for the first time ever. Not only are we seeing a big increase in fines handed out to landlords and agents, April has also been a record month for property licensing in the private rented sector with several new licensing schemes. […]Read article
At Kamma we care about cutting through the noise and giving you the latest news and updates on property licensing. Each month, we give you a full rundown of the latest scheme announcements and property licensing news in the Kamma Property Licensing Update. The start of the year has turned out to be a game […]Read article
Book a demo or get in touch
If you'd like to see the power of the Kamma platform in action, you can book a demo with us by simply clicking on the Book a Demo link at the top of the page.
Otherwise, email us at email@example.com or let us know your contact details using this form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Sorry, but something went wrong. Please let us know and we'll do our best to fix it.
Thanks for sending us your message. You'll be hearing from us shortly.