Technology – present and future - to decarbonise the planet - Inteb

Technology – present and future – to decarbonise the planet


As COP26 draws to an close and agreements are made about how to reach the 1.5C temperature goal set in the Paris Agreement, we’re taking a look at both the current and emerging technologies that will contribute to the reversal of global warming.


Technology of today: the big five


1.     Wind

Wind energy – particularly offshore – has experienced an incredible surge in installed capacity. It’s now the largest source of renewable electricity in the UK having increased in generation by 715% between 2009 and 2020 and accounting for almost one quarter of the UK’s grid electricity in 2020 (24.8%). In its net-zero strategy, the government announced its intention to deliver 40 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030.

2.     Solar

Likewise, solar PV installations are on track to double in 2022 over those of 2016 and be more than four times higher in 2025 than five years ago. We are also gradually seeing the installation of more and more solar PV panels on new buildings and a significant increase in the number of large solar arrays during the last decade.

3.     Hydro-electric

On a global scale, hydro-electric is a popular source of renewable power generation, currently providing around 20% of the world’s energy and 90% of its renewable energy. We’ve been fairly successful with it in the UK and have seen a recent push to smaller hydro-electric plants that are cheaper and have less environmental impact than the big plants located in North Wales.

4.     Electric Vehicles (EV) and charging infrastructure

This technology has seen a massive increase in demand resulting in more than 345,000 electric cars on the UK’s roads by 31st October 2021. Increased sales are due partly to the realisation that the infrastructure is becoming more prevalent. Indeed, EVs and infrastructure featured heavily in the UK’s net-zero strategy, attracting investment and expansion pledges. We’re pleased to say that Inteb will be working on EV charging infrastructure next year and we’re excited to play a part in this essential technology.

5.     Heat

While the government has pledged funding for household heat pumps, in fact heat networks are more efficient and effective and are set for a big push over the next few years. They connect multiple buildings to a centralised plant that uses multiple sources of fuel as well as waste heat from industrial processes to heat the buildings. Inteb is currently working with heat networks and we’ll be sharing news about our heat network tool and metering and smart data services in later blogs.


Emerging green technologies


Green cement

Cement currently accounts for around 8% of global CO₂ emissions, so ‘green cement’ is a welcome new technology. It incorporates waste products to eliminate calcium and silicon, which are currently added to cement and are responsible for around 80-90% of the associated emissions. This is a technology that could quickly and effectively reduce emissions by the same percentage but which needs considerable investment in order to convert manufacturing plants.


The tide has the benefit of being extremely predictable unlike solar and wind but has experienced a reticence in project approval due to cost and efficiency. This renewable energy source is where wind power was about a decade ago and needs a high-profile flagship project to sell itself. There are many tidal ranges in the UK that have potential for generation and there’s approval for a project in Swansea. It’s an area to watch so hopefully we’ll see more investment.


Small-scale nuclear costs around £2 billion whereas large-scale is around £20 billion, which is perhaps why the government has pledged to invest in small-scale as part of its net-zero plan. While nuclear is a zero-carbon fuel it does have an impact on the environment and the question of how to dispose safely of waste. However, it is clean and currently contributes to around 20% of UK energy generation.

Low-emissions farming

Farming has been the subject of fierce debate in recent months. While it’s obvious that meat consumption has to be reduced, what are the alternatives? Other protein sources are on the increase, which is great, but if we’re simply talking about feeding the world then vertical farming is an important technology. It’s energy efficient and takes place in a controlled and closed system so water use is low; we’re predicting a lot of traction in the future for vertical farming

Air travel and space technologies

The introduction of electric planes is gathering momentum with the recent announcement that there will be new 100 seat aeroplanes capable of 1-hour flights ready for take-off in 2026. In terms of space technologies to reduce harmful emissions, the government is also backing:

  • Infrared space telescopes to measure energy efficiency of buildings
  • TreeView; a satellite that enables precision forestry on a national level
  • GHGWatch – a space-based solution that identifies individual greenhouse gas emitters


To receive future blogs about COP26 and net-zero, follow us on LinkedIn.

Start reducing your carbon emissions today

Let’s get the conversation started – call us now on 0151 601 3476