- We need to switch from fossil fuel to low-carbon energy in less than 30 years
- Many challenges to make low carbon technologies robust, reliable, and cost effective
- New skills and qualifications will be needed to underpin Net Zero
Cutting global greenhouse gas emissions to meet Net Zero targets is arguably the most ambitious engineering project ever undertaken, according to a new report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
The report “Engineering A Net Zero Energy System” looks at the engineering challenges in achieving the Net Zero goal – which many countries have set for 2050 – which will require a switch from fossil fuel to low-carbon energy in less than 30 years.
Many of the technologies needed to make this transformation already exist, and some existing energy technologies will still have a place. However, there are many challenges in making these technologies robust, reliable and cost-effective.
Past President Peter Flinn CEng FIMechE, author of the report said:
“The Net Zero Project could be viewed as the most ambitious engineering project ever undertaken. To be achieved, we need to accelerate our efforts, create market demand, release cash, and engage in a massive scale-up programme. The economics of Net Zero solutions are just as important as the technologies used.”
To support this goal, the Institution commits to providing a balanced and objective view of technologies, with particular reference to their development status and market opportunities. It will work to develop the skills needed to underpin Net Zero and work with relevant agencies in the energy and innovation sectors to encourage pilot projects of new technologies.
Peter Flinn added:
“New skills are needed to support technologies that achieve the Net Zero goal and the UK’s professional engineering institutions will play a key role in embedding Net Zero principles and skills into degree courses, accreditation programmes and training courses.”
The report launch coincides with a Prestige Lecture given at IMechE’s Birdcage Walk headquarters by Professor Emily Shuckburgh OBE, a world-leading climate scientist and Director of Cambridge Zero.
Read the report here.