Centrica announces 2045 net-zero transition strategy

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UK utility Centrica has unveiled its clean energy and Climate Transition plan as part of efforts to decarbonise operations and to align with changing business models, regulations, and consumer demands.

The plan will enable the utility to be a net-zero business by 2045 and to help customers to achieve zero emissions by 2050. Helping customers reduce their emissions will be a key focus for Centrica with almost 90% of the company’s total emissions coming from consumers.

The strategy, launched during the COP26 summit, includes the deployment of energy storage, renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid, electric vehicles and smart heat pumps.

By 2025, up to 800MW of solar energy and storage capacity will be deployed, and up to 20,000 heat pumps and 100,000 electric vehicle chargers will be installed per annum, according to a company statement.

Other goals set in the strategy include:

  • Install 6 million more smart meters by 2030
  • Have 2.5 million Hive heating customers by 2025
  • Invest £100 million ($135 million) in renewable energy capacity by 2025
  • Have 25% of customers under the green tariff by 2025
  • Produce over 50% of electricity using renewables by 2030

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The plan increases Centrica’s capital in green infrastructure from less than 5% to over 50% in the next five years. Centrica says the investments, to be made in Europe, North America and the UK, will enable the utility to improve customer services by providing consumers with clean and affordable electricity.

The strategy will also enable Centrica to achieve its goal of reducing emissions by 40% by 2034. Centrica says the plan is bound to change to include more ambitious and stringent climate action goals.

The plan will amplify the energy company’s grid digitalisation, decentralisation, decarbonisation and electrification efforts, according to the company. Moreover, some 28 million households in the UK and 1.7 million in Ireland will be decarbonised as part of the plan.

Chris O’Shea, Group Chief Executive, Centrica, said: “…getting to net-zero is complex, and we don’t pretend to have all the answers yet. But with the help of our 20,000 amazing colleagues and our 10 million UK customers, I’ve no doubt we’ll get there. Our Climate Transition Plan explains how, today, we intend to achieve our goals, but we must continue to listen and learn to keep pace with the unprecedented rate of change across the sector and society.”

The launch of the plan comes after Centrica has invested £1 billion ($1.2 billion) in low-carbon energy solutions since 2015, resulting in the avoidance of 4.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Climate Transition Plan is available for download.