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Glasgow must invest over £2.3 billion to meet net zero by 2030 target

Image: ScottishPower.

Image: ScottishPower.

In order for Glasgow to become net zero by 2030, over £2.3 billion will need to be invested in its energy networks, electric vehicles (EVs) and heat pumps, according to ScottishPower.

The supplier has launched Zero Carbon Communities (ZCC), a detailed roadmap that outlines the steps the city - which will host COP26 later this year - must take to become the UK’s first net zero city.

Using forecasts from Capital Economics, ScottishPower says that the city will need to install more than 175,000 charging points in the next ten years.

Of these, 17,000 will be in non-residential areas. This will require an estimated £298 million worth of investment.

Converting the city to electric heating is seemingly a still greater challenge, as over 244,000 heat pumps will need to be installed in homes, costing around £1.4 billion.

The networks themselves will need to be upgraded to meet the changing demand, with an estimated £648 million needed for modernisation. However, SP Energy Networks says that if the investment is done in a ‘planned and strategic’ way, this can be reduced by 30-40%.

The network, which serves central and southern Scotland, says that it is investing £20 million between now and 2022 to improve network capacity and support regeneration initiatives.

Keith Anderson, chief executive of ScottishPower, said that with the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 coming to Glasgow, it will be able to showcase the city’s commitment to net zero, and is committed to working with local communities along the way to decarbonisation.

“We’re launching our Zero Carbon Communities campaign today to set out a road map for helping Glasgow in the drive to net zero. Upgrading heating systems and shifting to electric vehicles will require big changes, but they will have compelling social, economic and environmental benefits.

“Our sponsorship of Glasgow’s first fleet of e-bikes is a great example of how we can use electrical vehicles to reduce pollution.”

Last October, ScottishPower used Capital Forecasts to launch a ZCC in Liverpool, showing that 25 million EV charge points will need to be installed in the city along with almost 23 million heat pumps to meet a 2050 net zero.

Michael Matheson MSP, cabinet secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity welcomed the ZCC report, calling it a “milestone moment” in their partnership to make Glasgow the UK’s first net zero city.

“The Scottish Government is doing its part. We’ve already invested over £30 million since 2011 to establish our comprehensive ChargePlace Scotland charging network.

"Our public network is largest in the UK, outside London, which we have developed in support of our commitment to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.”

Scotland’s net zero target is five years earlier than the broader UK one, with the country aiming to completely decarbonise by 2045. The Committee on Climate Change’s 2019 Progress Report last year however, stated that it must take more decisive action over in 2020 in particular if it is to meet its ambitious target.

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