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April 19, 2022

National Grid sets net-zero goal for 2050

The main benefit electric utility National Grid sees from operating its 55-electric-vehicle fleet is providing a cleaner working environment for its employees.

National Grid, the utility which provides electricity and natural gas to communities throughout Central Massachusetts, announced it intends to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, seeking to eliminate fossil fuels entirely from its gas networks. 

“This fossil-free vision is an historic announcement for National Grid and the United States,” said John Pettigrew, the CEO of the United Kingdom-based National Grid, in a press release Tuesday. “We have a critical responsibility to lead the clean energy transition for our customers and communities.” 

According to the company, around 40% of emissions in Massachusetts and New York come from heating in buildings. National Grid said it would seek to remedy this situation by switching to renewable natural gas and green hydrogen, and away from gas obtained from fossil fuel sources. Renewable natural gas is obtained from decomposing materials at landfills and wastewater, while green hydrogen can be produced from wind farms.

The statement from National Grid also included statements of support from union and political leaders in Massachusetts and New York regarding their green energy vision.

“Utilizing our existing gas networks to decarbonize will allow all of the commonwealth’s businesses and residents, who have already paid for this infrastructure, to participate in a clean energy future,” said Rick Sullivan, the president and CEO of the Western Mass Economic Development Council, in the same press release. “National Grid’s plan is a practical approach that gives Massachusetts customers choice in their heating options to reach net zero.”

The move comes as companies around the world are aiming to achieve net-zero emissions in order to combat climate change, particularly in the wake of the COP26 conference last year in Glasgow, Scotland, where global corporate and political leaders gathered to discuss the issue of climate.

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