The UK FIRES report Absolute Zero describes the trajectory to reaching the UK’s legally binding commitment to zero emissions in 2050 based on today’s energy technologies. Unlike any other report anticipating zero emissions, Absolute Zero is realistic about the deployment rates of new technologies. While carbon capture and storage, negative emissions technologies and other energy innovations may contribute beyond 2050 they cannot scale to be significant before then. The reality of our climate law is that there will be no removals by 2050 so we must reach Absolute Zero emissions, we will be powered only by non-emitting electricity, and we won’t have energy as we’d like.
Recognising this apparently stark description creates a rich and as yet unexplored opportunity for growth in UK manufacturing. This webinar will attempt to reveal the scope of this opportunity in three areas:
- Material system: an all-electric zero emissions material supply system will derive mainly from recycled metals, from electrically powered polymers and ceramics, and will have no cement. This will involve the professionalisation of the scrap system, technology and system upgrades to create material up-cycling, and new forms of material valuation.
- Production: Existing approaches to design optimisation and near net shape production will be given top priority as the material supply contracts. New processes will be required for example to deliver high-temperature electrical heat and the electric production of polymers and ceramics.
- Life extension: the best forms of closed-loop product system focus not on recycling but on life-extension. Repair will become a mainstream activity, preferred over new manufacture, and product design will prioritise maintenance, repair and upgrade at a modular level, to delay material recycling for as long as possible.
Recognition that Zero Emissions cannot be delivered fast enough and invisibly by a transformed energy system, reveals a wealth of opportunities in manufacturing for innovation in processes, systems, designs and business models. Early entrants to these markets at this stage of the emissions transition have the opportunity to establish significant competitive advantage. This webinar aims to stimulate and accelerate this innovation.
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Watch 'A Net-Zero Future for UK Manufacturing' on-demand:
Julian and Sam’s previous presentation on behalf of the Manufacturing Industries Division can been viewed here.