“A change is gonna come”
25th Jan 2021
After the inauguration of President Joe Biden, (I just love saying that phrase), it is fitting I use the words of American soul singer Sam Cooke to begin this blog. Change is definitely coming.
Immediately upon taking the oath, he re-committed the USA to the Paris Accord on climate change. That, taken with recent pledges from China, suggest the world is indeed coming together to tackle climate change. COP26 later this year, could indeed be historic.
Last week we also saw Ursula von der Lydon, President of the EU Commission speak candidly about the role clean hydrogen will have in saving the planet and keeping economies prospering. She said the EU Green Deal was about investing in hydrogen like never before. A strong message that I know will feed into COP26 preparation.
The fact she also referenced hydrogen for heating in her speech was also significant. It is increasingly clear that across Europe, as well as in the UK, heating is going to be delivered by low carbon gas (hydrogen and biogases), some heat networks, and heat pumps/direct electric. As I have said before, the debate is about what proportions of each.
Adding energy efficiency into the mix gives a more holistic view, it is a given (I would have thought) that energy savings where they can be economically achieved, should be. That’s why I am increasingly concerned over reports in the media about the delivery of the Green Homes Grant. What frustrates most, is the fact that the reported problems are ones that also blighted the Green Deal and could have been avoided. Indeed, over a number of years, we have privately and publicly given suggestions to BEIS about how to improve actual delivery. Someone suggested that it was like a football team’s tactics being correct in principle but poorly executed. I’ll extend the metaphor. To my eyes, it is like watching a football team getting caught offside. Players and analysts tell the manager why this is happening. Unfortunately, the manager doesn’t want to admit the tactics are wrong, so they change the colour of the kit to see if that makes a difference.
Achieving Net Zero isn’t going to be straightforward, and it might be a long time coming, but change is gonna come. Best wishes
Mike Foster, CEO