It may have been an official ‘rest day’ at COP28 in Dubai yesterday, but there was certainly no rest for the Foreman Roberts team as we navigated our way through the many fringe events taking place around Expo City where the main event is being held.
We dropped in at the Climate Action Innovation Zone at the Madinat Jumeriah, where all talks are focussed on the debate around whether to agree to phase out or phase down fossil fuels, with some optimism in the air that we’re close to a big breakthrough on reducing the gases heating our planet.
Whether there will be a gradual phase down of fossil fuels over the coming decades or whether they will be ditched forever remains to be seen however COP28 President, Sultan Al-Jaber has made it clear that’s what he wants to see.
It was explained to us that in order to meet the target of limiting global warming to 1.5C would mean getting rid of unabated coal completely by 2050. Oil will need to be cut by 60% and natural gas by 45%.
More than 100 countries, including the US and the EU, have already said they want to see a phase-out of fossil fuels with China and Russia not so sure, although the UAE seem optimistic that they can be persuaded, despite being one of the biggest global producers of oil.
Here are our three key reasons why we should be optimistic by the COP28 summit so far:
1. EV Innovation
Worries about high costs and range could soon be a thing of the past with new technology advancements which will see households receiving the necessary kit required to send and receive power from your car to your house, and on to the national grid.
The idea, which has been floated for a while, but seems to be gathering momentum, is that if you can charge the car when energy is cheap, you can sell it back to the grid when it’s more expensive and turn a nice profit for yourself in the process.
The average household vehicle spends 95% of it’s time parked and are perfectly suited to the role of buying and selling energy.
This is critically important for the national grid which is in the process of adding more and more renewables like wind and solar, and needs somewhere to send that power when it’s too windy or sunny.
2. Solar is On The Up!
Picture this: you have your EV parked up on the driveway, charging nicely from the solar panels on the roof of your home.
Now imagine having the freedom to sell that free energy back to the national grid for a decent margin – the term ‘money for nothing’ springs to mind.
You may also be surprised to know that around 17,000 houses are adding solar panels to their homes each month in the UK on average.
3. The Rise of the Battery Farm
You may also be surprised to know that large scale battery farms are popping up across the UK at a rapid pace. It’s hardly surprising really as each battery farm has the ability to power 300,000 homes for up to two hours.
With prices for storage on this scale continuing to fall, experts estimate that by the end of this decade there will be enough batteries in place to power 18 million homes across the UK.
According to experts, batteries are the key link in the chain that will makes net zero achievable for electricity production.
Thanks for taking the time to read our commentary on COP28 in Dubai, it’s been a privilege to be here and we feel like we’ve learnt so much.
We are ready to share our knowledge with clients and colleagues when we return to the UK next week.
Wishing you all a great weekend ahead!