Energy & Waste

Energy and waste infrastructure are central to delivering a low cost, zero carbon future.

Updated:

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Summary

Infrastructure delivers power and heat to homes and businesses and underpins how we dispose of and recycle waste.

It is a period of huge change for electricity generators, utility companies and those who manage the connections between them. Currently, 30 per cent of UK greenhouse gas emissions come from generating electricity supply and heat for buildings. The growth of renewable electricity sources and the need to upgrade our networks to enable decarbonisation are historic shifts which present both challenges and opportunities for the sectors involved.

The Commission advises government on how to best support and regulate those sectors to deliver the changes necessary for meeting the UK’s net zero goals.

With this in mind, we conduct a range of work exploring the role that low carbon energy infrastructure can play in delivering the net zero goal. This includes investigating how innovative technologies might help enable the phasing out of fossil fuels for UK power and heating without increasing costs for households over the long term, and ensure a stable electricity supply as our reliance on renewable generation grows.

Generating energy from waste plants (incinerators) helped the move away from landfill and makes sense when the alternative is power from fossil fuels. But the UK could save £6.2 billion by 2050 and avoid the need to build 20 new incinerators by achieving higher recycling rates.

We therefore seek to inform decision making to create a more circular economy, supporting significantly higher recycling rates for municipal and industrial waste and ensuring that the processes used for disposing of remaining waste help meet wider environmental policy goals.

Protecting the environment and addressing the impacts created by climate change, and ensuring the UK reaches its net zero targets are two of the three strategic themes which will shape the Commission’s work in the second National Infrastructure Assessment.

As set out in its Baseline Report, the Commission will look at four key challenges in energy and waste linked to these themes: the further decarbonisation of the electricity system; creating a viable path for heat decarbonisation; funding and delivering the new networks needed for hydrogen and carbon capture and storage; and examining what the waste sector should do to enable the move towards a more circular economy.

Energy & waste data

A range of energy & waste data sets is available to review on our Data pages. This includes data sets used in Commission reports, as well as historic data sets. Each can be reviewed online or downloaded. 

Review data

Latest Updates

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