Britain urged to hit 65% renewables by 2030
11th August 2020 | Commercial Energy
The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has advised increasing the UK’s renewable electricity target from 50% to 65% by 2030. New research carried out for the NIC shows how sharp falls in the cost of renewable generation mean that Britain should aim for renewables to meet two thirds of electricity needs by 2030, which can be delivered at the same overall costs as meeting only half of total demand by that date.
The findings have led the commission’s decision to update its recommended target for deployment of renewables as part of a low-cost low carbon electricity system, from 50% to 65% by the end of the decade. Shifts in government policy to support more renewable electricity schemes as part of a green recovery would encourage private investment to drive innovation and could help provide confidence in the economy at a crucial time, the report noted.
The NIC’s study found the UK Government has made a number of recent positive commitments on renewable deployment, including setting a goal to deliver 40GW of offshore wind power by 2030, and schemes to encourage more onshore wind and solar power projects. The commission, while welcoming these steps, as also recommended that a “refreshed pipeline” of “contracts for difference” auctions should be set out to accelerate more offshore wind, and solar power projects.
The report also highlighted that renewables alone cannot create a resilient energy system for future decades, and that further work on new storage technologies, efficient interconnectors, and other innovations are needed to support renewables and ensure the security of the electricity system. This could include an increased role for low carbon hydrogen generation, as envisaged in the Commission’s report Net Zero: Opportunities for the Power Sector, published in March 2020.
National Infrastructure Commission chair John Armitt said, “The government should be credited for recent steps to encourage quicker deployment of renewables, and for setting up successful mechanisms for encouraging private sector investments. These latest projections suggest we can afford to go further, faster without hitting consumers in the pocket.”
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11 August 2020 Other News[Image: UK Government]