They talk the talk, will they walk the walk?

18th Feb 2019


There’s a great phrase, it’s meant to flush out BS and get to the facts – “put your money where your mouth is” a common challenge.

Last week, at a Carbon Connect evidence session on the future of gas, this challenge was needed. One witness, representing one of the Big 6 energy suppliers, made it clear he saw no role for gas in the future energy mix. Now I don’t know whether he was speaking in a personal capacity or representing his company.

During the session, he admitted to having a gas central heating system – keeping him and his family warm, but he didn’t want others to rely on the same. Now that might be a tad hypocritical for the individual. But what if this was the company view? How does a Big 6 energy supplier justify selling gas to consumers, now that it has said it sees no future for the fuel? Perhaps they should stop – and yes, put their money where their mouth is.

But on a more realistic note, it’s clear that the all-electric fundamentalists are enraged that low carbon gas now offers a pathway to heat decarbonisation. They simply cannot accept that gas has a future role. Based on the evidence session, they can’t even say the word “gas”.

The future of heat is unlikely to be sourced by one fuel, and the only fuel that really needs to be ruled out at this stage is coal. Oil, replaced by bio-oils; LPG replaced by Biopropane; natural gas replaced by biomethane, BioSNG, hydrogen-blending or 100 per cent hydrogen and yes, some electric too, will be the fuels of the future. 

Accepting the mixed bag now, allows progress to be made in decarbonising, affordably, without disrupting the consumer. That’s the way forward with broad appeal. If you advocate another, you better be prepared to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Best wishes Mike Foster, CEO