ZERO AND LOW CARBON PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT IS ESSENTIAL FOR THE UK’S FUTURE
The construction industry has often been used as a tool to help drive economic recovery by providing local jobs and building new infrastructure for other businesses. With the UK declaring a climate emergency in 2019, alongside a commitment to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2050, this push in new property development must now be focused on incorporating zero or low carbon technologies.
- On the 25th of June 2020 the UK Government’s statutory adviser, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), published its progress report on reducing UK emissions. The content highlights five clear investment priorities.
- Low-carbon retrofits and buildings that are fit for the future
- Tree planting, peatland restoration and green infrastructure
- Energy networks must be strengthened
- Infrastructure to make it easy for people to walk, cycle, and work remotely
- Moving towards a circular economy
Top of the list is the low-carbon retrofits and buildings that are fit for the future. The report states: “for the long term, the UK must invest in key assets to build capacity and enable productive activity in the future. This means investing in climate-resilient low-carbon infrastructure, job creation in low-carbon and climate-resilient industries, training and reskilling of the workforce.” The report also goes on to state that the phasing out of new installations of gas boilers by 2025 with The Buildings and Heat Strategy, due later this year “must take low-carbon heating from a niche market in the UK to the dominant form of new heating installation by the early-2030s.”
The incorporation of low and zero carbon technologies into existing buildings to improve their carbon, energy, heating and water efficiency where possible, must have equal focus alongside new developments. A suggestion within The Buildings and Heat Strategy is that a ‘green energy passport’ for existing homes and Local Energy Plans could be rolled out across the UK over the next few years to try and encourage uptake of these technologies.
Essentially the requirement for the UK to achieve its Net Zero carbon target are unchanged by the Covid-19 pandemic. The focus on development of low carbon retrofits and new infrastructure investments will help the UK economy recover after the pandemic whilst also keeping the UK on track to meet the Net Zero carbon target of 2050.
The low and zero carbon technologies, including biomass, solar panels, heat pumps, wind turbines, battery storage and gas combined heat and power (CHP) are proven technologies providing positive sustainable, operational and financial results. Each of the technologies offers domestic and commercial installations, depending on the development requirements.
With an environmental emergency being announced before the Covid-19 pandemic started, and the noticeable environmental recovery during the UK’s lockdown in 2020, we must utilise this awareness and continue to aim for sustainable options and to invest in better buildings for the future.
The Energy team at Carter Jonas has specialist experience of the development of low and zero carbon projects, either stand-alone or property-integrated. The team can offer advice to residential or commercial developers who would like to explore low or zero carbon energy opportunities, either to generate on-going revenue streams, meet planning or regulatory requirements, or to boost a project’s sustainability credentials.
If you would like further information about low and zero carbon energy opportunities please contact Tom Hilton on 07917 211 253 or firstname.lastname@example.org