Energy comes in many forms including fossil fuels (gas, oil and coal), renewables (hydro, heat pumps, wind and solar), waste / biomass and nuclear.
The production of electricity, transport fuels, and heat are particularly relevant to infrastructure. Ten years ago these three sectors contributed more or less equally to carbon emissions. Since then – while the transport and heat sector emissions remain approximately a third of all emissions – electricity emissions have reduced by half and could be decarbonised completely by 2030.
There are several challenges facing energy.
- Firstly, how do you decarbonize the heat and transport sectors in an affordable and sustainable way?
- Secondly, if you use electricity to decarbonise heat and transport emissions, how can you rapidly increase electricity generation capacity and transmission / distribution networks?
- And what place will hydrogen fuel have in displacing use of fossil fuels? Because of its characteristics it is more likely that hydrogen fuel would be reserved for applications that electricity is unable to service effectively (such as Heavy Goods Vehicles).
Continued electrification of the railways is likely to be a more cost effective option for rail transport.