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Engineering net zero

Achieving net zero ‘is the most ambitious engineering project ever’ – IMechE report
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Skillful workers attending brief meeting

Cutting global greenhouse gas emissions to meet net zero targets is arguably the most ambitious engineering project ever undertaken, according to a new report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). 
The report, Engineering A Net Zero Energy System, looks at the engineering challenges in achieving the net zero goal – which many countries have set for 2050 – which will require a switch from fossil fuel to low-carbon energy in less than 30 years.

‘A massive scale-up’

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.

‘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.’

Author of the report


Green skills

The Institution has committed 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.

‘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.’

Author of the report

The report launch coincides with a Prestige Lecture given at IMechE’s Birdcage Walk headquarters by Professor Emily Shuckburgh OBE, a world-leading climate scientist and director of Cambridge Zero.

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