The clamour for net zero, increased energy demand and shortages related to Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic have left utility companies overstretched and potentially vulnerable to unethical behaviours infiltrating supply chains. Utility Week invited industry experts to have their say on tackling poor practice.
Changes to energy consumption patterns and the increasing prevalence of renewables will require more agile transmission and distribution infrastructure. Matt Brough of Burns & McDonnell looks at the role modular substations can play in this mix.
Affinity Water will measure and report on its non-operational emissions from next year as it sets out plans to be carbon negative for scopes one two and three emissions by 2030. Nature-based solutions and developing a blue carbon finance framework are included in the plans.
Bristol Water has unveiled a routemap to decarbonising its business and operations by 2030 aligned with its city's climate strategy. It sets out four pathways to net zero, with a focus on ramping up renewable generation and a cautious approach to offsetting.
Northumbrian Water has joined the UN-backed Race to Zero global campaign as it announced plans to achieve net zero carbon by 2027 - three years earlier than the industry-wide commitment. However, the target excludes process emissions, which make up half of the company's total greenhouse gases.
Yorkshire has set its targets for reaching net zero by 2030 including electrifying all cars and vans as well as rolling out zero-emission tankers and trucks. Partnerships will be key to the plans and cutting carbon will be made central to every business decision.
SES has set out what it calls a demand-led approach to cutting 2,400 tonnes of carbon each year by 2030. This will include engagement with customers and stakeholders to reduce the amount of water that needs abstracting, treating and pumping as well as efforts to phase out fossil fuels in the coming decade.
Thames Water has set out plans to go beyond carbon net-zero goals with an ambition to enter carbon neutrality by 2040. The routemap highlights wastewater treatment as the area most in need of attention, but with opportunities included.
Utilities consultancy Reson8 explores how to reduce carbon emissions by 12 per cent from commercial vehicles by making scheduling more efficient. This could cut the fuel needed for journeys to save time, money and carbon.
The water sector must find ways to cut the emissions from its most energy intensive activity - wastewater treatment. Industry experts discussed how this could be done and what challenges stand in the way of creating a circular economy to benefit from what has previously been considered waste.