UK Electricity Generation

Minus 45 Report on Net Zero Strategy

The UK government has pledged to the UN to reduce emissions by 45% by from 2018-2030, but will not do so with its published Net Zero Strategy. The Minus 45 Report aims to show how the UK could close the gap.

The Minus 45 Report, which was published on 21 October 2021, follows on from the Absolute Zero Report was published in November 2019 by UK FIRES, a group of academics from six major UK universities funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

It is firmly rooted in science but is also governed by a practical approach to incremental change and the need of all of us to address the need to approach the challenge of achieving Absolute Zero together as a society, based on technologies that are available now.

Key quotes from the Minus 45 Report:

  • Net Zero Strategy will deliver only a small fraction of the UK commitment to COP26
  • Net Zero Strategy talks about big ambitions, but only makes small commitments
  • Net Zero Strategy places all climate hope on future technologies
  • Net Zero Strategy mentions hydrogen 501 times in 368 pages, but UK today has no emissions-free hydrogen production.

The Minus 45 Report covers six key areas:

  • Electricity generation
  • Manufacturing
  • Transport
  • Space and Water Heating
  • Agriculture
  • Waste

Space and Water Heating

On Space and Water Heating the report says:

"Heat pumps are essential to decarbonise heating as they use electricity and are very efficient. However, the government's current commitment is insufficient and should be increased to over 1 million heat pumps installed annually by 2028.

From 2028 onwards no new gas boilers should be installed in the UK.

The combination of these two actions would save approximately 11Mt CO2 by 2030. This figure is still far below the government's commitment to Minus 45, so further measures are required."

Actions and Policies needed in heating to reach pledged reductions

The minus 45 Report says the actions needed to drive emission reduction:

  • 1 million heat pumps installed a year by 2028
  • Retrofit the 35% of homes without loft insulation and 30% of homes without wall cavity insulation by 2030
  • Begin to carry out retrofits on solid wall properties, targeting 30% of solid wall homes by 2030
  • All non-domestic properties have EPC rating A by 2030.

Key policy requirements needed to meet Minus 45:

  • Gas boilers banned from 2028
  • Additional subsidies for heat pump installation and retrofits for low-income households
  • Introduce variable Stamp Duty Land Tax, variable Council Tax, and an Energy Efficiency Feed-in-tariff to incentivise deep energy retrofits
  • The current minimum energy efficient standards for rented buildings should be increased to an EPC A rating.


We recommend that you read the clearly laid out 23 page Minus 45 Report from UK FIRES.