The NI Gas Network Operators (NI GNOs) – Phoenix Natural Gas, firmus energy, SGN Natural Gas, Mutual Energy & GNI(UK) – welcome the publication of the Climate Change Committee’s advice on a Carbon Budget for Northern Ireland. We believe it reinforces the scale of the opportunity and challenges that the pathway to a net zero future provides. It is critically important that Executive Departments, industry, and wider stakeholders continue to progress at pace the detailed planning required to develop a practical implementation plan to decarbonise Northern Ireland at the least cost and disruption to consumers.
Last year the NI GNOs published our Pathway to 2050 Net-Zero which sets out how the NI Gas Network will fully transition from natural gas to renewable gases by 2050. Considerable work is underway ensure the NI Gas Network is a key strategic asset which will enable the decarbonisation of multiple sectors including homes, industry, transport, power, and agriculture – sectors which currently encapsulate over 80% of the region’s Greenhouse Gas emissions.
Biomethane, in partnership with energy efficiency and hydrogen, plays a lead role in our 2050 pathway, and we welcome the CCC’s recognition of the benefits of investing in biomethane production – not only as a means to displace carbon emissions now, but also to support future negative emission technologies to allow Northern Ireland to offset some of its forecast 2050 residual carbon emissions.
The NI gas industry welcomes the timing of the CCC report and the further impetus this provides for the timely development of market, regulatory and legislative frameworks that will attract the necessary investment of green capital into the NI economy.