National Grid has released a new report which confirms that the only way the UK can achieve all its renewable and carbon targets is to go green.
National Grid is one of the world’s largest investor-owned energy companies, and runs electricity systems across Britain and the north-east of the US. The company published its 2015 Future Energy Scenarios (FES) report on Wednesday, which provided four scenarios that looked into the future of Britain’s energy sector. Each scenario takes into account the shifting policy and economic landscape, and considers the impact they have upon energy supply and demand.
“The energy industry is changing rapidly and at National Grid, we are right at the heart of that change,” said Roisin Quinn, National Grid’s Head of Energy Strategy and Policy. “We haven’t got a crystal ball, but our scenarios offer a glimpse into the future, using our unique insight into the trends shaping the energy landscape.
According to National Grid’s press release, the four scenarios are as follows:
- Consumer Power: A world of relative wealth, fast-paced R&D and consumer spending. Innovation is focused on meeting the needs of consumers who are focused on improving their quality of life
- Gone Green: A world where green ambition is not restrained by financial limitations. New technologies are introduced and embraced, enabling all carbon and renewable targets to be met
- No Progression: A world focused on achieving security of supply at the lowest possible cost. Low economic growth and little innovation means traditional sources of gas and electricity dominate
- Slow Progression: A world where slower economic growth restricts market conditions. Available money is spent focusing on low-cost long-term solutions to achieve environmental targets, albeit later than the target dates
“Over the past year we have worked with over 230 organisations and the feedback we received is vital to help us produce a range of clear and credible scenarios,” continued Quin. “Thanks to widespread stakeholder engagement and an array of expertise, we have been able to produce the most accessible and detailed FES report, that we hope the industry and others will find interesting and helpful.”
Focusing on the Gone Green scenario, the authors of the report envision “a world where green ambition is not restrained by financial limitations,” and where “new technologies are introduced and embraced by society, enabling all carbon and renewable targets to be met on time.” Specifically, the authors of the report see 3.2 GW of additional onshore wind installed by 2018; 10 GW of additional wind generation installed by 2020; 27 million smart meters installed by 2020; over 900,000 heat pumps installed by 2020; 500,000 electric vehicles on British roads by 2020; and the level of interconnection reaching the European Union capacity target of 10% by 2020.
“When National Grid says the only way to hit our legally-binding renewable energy and carbon reduction targets is via their “Gone Green” scenario you’d hope that Government Ministers will take notice,” said RenewableUK’s Director of Policy, Dr Gordon Edge. “This means maximising the deployment of onshore and offshore wind as these technologies are identified in this report as the biggest contributors to the renewables mix.
“It’s particularly interesting to see the Gone Green scenario envisaging an extra 6 gigawatts of onshore wind being installed between 2020 and 2030 to meet our long term carbon reduction targets. This shows that National Grid believes that onshore wind has an important role to play, which makes the Government’s announcement about ending future support for onshore wind all the more baffling.”
The full report and additional resources are available from National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios website.