Achieving Net Zero – the most ambitious engineering project ever

11 November 2022

A new report from IMechE, entitled ‘Engineering A Net Zero Energy System’ looks at the engineering challenges in achieving the Net Zero goal – which many countries have set for 2050 – that require a switch from fossil fuel to low-carbon energy in less than 30 years.

Many of the technologies needed to make this transformation already exist, and some existing energy technologies will still have a place. However, there are many challenges in making these technologies robust, reliable and cost-effective. 
Past President Peter Flinn CEng FIMechE, author of the report said: “The Net Zero Project could be viewed as the most ambitious engineering project ever undertaken. To be achieved, we need to accelerate our efforts, create market demand, release cash, and engage in a massive scale-up programme. The economics of Net Zero solutions are just as important as the technologies used.” 
To support this goal, the Institution commits to providing a balanced and objective view of technologies, with particular reference to their development status and market opportunities. It will work to develop the skills needed to underpin Net Zero and work with relevant agencies in the energy and innovation sectors to encourage pilot projects of new technologies. 
Peter Flinn added: “New skills are needed to support technologies that achieve the Net Zero goal and the UK’s professional engineering institutions will play a key role in embedding Net Zero principles and skills into degree courses, accreditation programmes and training courses.” 

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