Minutes of formal part of the AGM, view/download here (pdf).
AGM Talk: ‘The UK climate change strategy: Where is it going? Can it work?’ by Dr Peter Boait
Peter Boait is a professional engineer and research fellow at the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development at De Montfort University, Leicester.
Peter described the current carbon reductions that have been achieved in the UK since the Climate Change Act and pointed out the areas that have been lagging behind – transport and homes. Heating in buildings and industry was 32% of total emissions. The big challenges were: Decarbonisation of heat, Transport, Electricity generation and Agriculture.
Solutions proposed: generation of electricity by natural gas (Allam cycle gas turbine) with capture of CO2; conversion of the gas grid to hydrogen (steam methane reforming with capture of CO2 (pilot project for Leeds – and something like a reversal of the conversion to natural gas of the 1970s); hydrogen-powered fuel cell boilers; electricity demand response and energy storage; decarbonisation of transport using electric smaller vehicles and hydrogen-fuel-cell buses and lorries; improved insulation of buildings, heat pumps, gas boilers to run from the hydrogen grid.
In summary 1. generating 100% zero-carbon electricity and a lot more of it 2. replacing all our gas boilers with a zero-carbon solution 3. replacing the transport fleet with battery and hydrogen vehicles. A hydrogen grid essential to 2 and 3 and helps 1. Battery electric cars with smart charging essential to 1.
Conclusion: the current policy direction can work but we need to persuade politicians and the British public to get on with it! Time is running out…..
Discussion: many points arose, and included readiness of public to use less car transport, less heat; changes in agriculture, diet; free public transport as a means of competing with the private car.