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A Vision of 2035

Everyone keeps talking about the net-zero goals set forth for the next decade—but what will that truly look like in 2035? One new report aims to identify what a reliable, resilient, decarbonized electricity supply system could reveal by that time—and perhaps more importantly the steps we will need to take to even get there.

The report, “Delivering a Reliable Decarbonised Power System,” from Climate Change Committee, uses real weather data and hourly analysis of Great Britain’s power system. In the hopes of helping us all learn together, let’s see what these folks have uncovered.

Let my first salvo be that this report does a good job of pointing out the obvious. It indicates that groundwork needs to be undertaken and quickly. It suggests we need a reliable, resilient electricity system by 2035 if we want to deliver the emissions reductions to meet the path to net zero that so many have set out. Ultimately, this will provide more resilience to homeowners—i.e. less power outages and downtime—and will reduce the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.

To hit this 2035 bullseye or reality, there are many steps that must be taken. Perhaps key to this is the fact the report states government must give equal focus to low-carbon flexible solutions and the full delivery of its existing renewables and nuclear commitments.

If this happens, the electricity system will look very different in a decade than it looks today. A transition will lead to a system that provides homeowners with the power they need and one that is also friendly to the environment. These are all good moves.

During this transition, we will also see work opportunities change across the world. Currently, more than 31,000 people across the United Kingdom are employed in offshore wind alone—and this is set to rise to 97,000 by 2030, driven by £155 billion in private investment, with further investment and employment in solar and onshore wind. The bottomline is there will be exponential growth and we will see new job opportunities in new areas. This is true in the United Kingdom, and it will also apply here in the states as well.

All of this is good news for the homeowner. A more reliable electricity system will enable a high-tech, sustainable, connected home to stay powered. Now, we just need to bring this system to more, underserved areas across the globe and make it more resilient for all.

As I have mentioned in another Living Lab blog, we are beginning to see this come to life right here in South Carolina, as the Biden-Harris Admin., has invested $20 million to improve and expand rural electric infrastructure in South Carolina. This will help finance wind, solar, and natural gas plants, as well as improvements to produce cleaner energy from coal-fired plants.

Small steps can make a very big difference—but will it be enough to reach that elusive vision of the next-gen, resilient, sustainable electricity system by 2035? Time will tell, but many are aiming to meet that goal. We all have to be open-minded and willing to move the needle together.Want to tweet about this article? Use hashtags #IoT #sustainability #AI #5G #cloud #edge #futureofwork #digitaltransformation #green #ecosystem #environmental #circularworld

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