Changes are part of life and we have to think about changing the way we generate and use electricity to help minimise global warming. There’s some pretty clever stuff that’s being done that’ll make the future look a little different!
We’ve already started to see more electric vehicles on the road. Maybe your family already has one?
We are on a journey to increase the number of electric vehicles, and in the future most households will be smart charging their cars at home. Electricity providers are already helping manage growing demand by making it cheaper to charge up when demand is lower – like overnight, and therefore lowering overall demand during the day.
And changes are also happening inside our house too! You might already have smart devices and smart meters to monitor what you’re using.
So rather than relying on predictions, electricity producers and distributors will have real time information to make sure the electricity is available to those who need it – and where.
And things are heating up in the way we heat our homes. By 2050 it’s possible that we won’t be using gas boilers but using heat pumps instead. They’re basically a low carbon alternative that takes heat from outside, such as the soil in your garden and transfers it indoors. It’s thought that in the future there will be more ways to STORE heat and release it when it’s needed.
That could make a BIG difference to the energy used – and emissions, not to mention the bill!
And if you think THAT’S a big change – the electricity grid itself is also going to have to change, with more co-operation with other countries.
A 700 kilometre subsea cable is being built between Denmark and the UK. This will help the transfer of electricity between the two countries. Which means we can share supplies at times when there’s a greater demand in one place.
British expertise is also helping to fix congestion in New York’s electric power system. So sharing knowledge – as well as electricity, will be more important in the future.
Renewable sources of energy such as water, solar and wind, are much cleaner. We have a lot of experience in the UK with these which we are sharing with countries like the US to help them build more effective wind farms. And another exciting future development could help scrub emissions away.
We don’t need soap for this kind of scrub – it’s all to do with carbon capture, usage and storage. It’s an effective ways to remove harmful carbon dioxide from power plants and other polluting industries.
There are a number of ways to remove carbon from emissions – removing it during or after the process of burning fossil fuels is known as scrubbing. Another type of process creates hydrogen as a by-product, which can be used to power other things.
In the North of England, an exciting project is being developed which could lead to Humber becoming the world’s first net-zero carbon region and home to a world-leading hydrogen economy.