Jul 11, 2014 - The installed renewables capacity in the UK could reach up to 77.8 GW by 2030 under the most ambitious scenario by National Grid (LON:NG), or be as low as 37.5 GW according to the weakest estimates.
In the "Future Energy Scenarios" report on Thursday the grid operator presented four scenarios for the UK’s renewables future, enabling it to “identify where potential investments will be required in the future,” said its head of energy strategy and policy Richard Smith.
The National Grid’s most optimistic forecast, called the Gone Green scenario, indicates that about 51 GW of wind farms will be operational in Britain by 2030. This includes 31.9 GW of offshore and 19.1 GW of onshore wind capacity. Meanwhile, solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the country is expected to be 15.6 GW, while 6.9 GW will come from other renewable energy sources. Overall, the Gone Green scenario sees the UK meeting its 15% renewables goal by 2020 and cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 “due to a clear vision and a growing economy.” In addition, a strong post-2020 policy landscape promotes continued investment in the green sector and helps the country meet new targets in 2020-2050.
In a more modest pace, renewables in the UK are seen reaching 60.4 GW by 2030 under the Slow Progression scenario, which envisages a slow economic recovery with a similar strong focus on regulations and new targets. However, the UK will miss its 2020 renewables goal under that scenario. Onshore and offshore wind farms are seen to reach 41.8 GW in capacity by 2030, while 9.6 GW will be attributed to solar.
The National Grid has also reviewed a No Progression scenario in which regulations remain unchanged, the country misses its 2020 target and does not introduce new goals. Under that plan, there will be 37.5 GW of renewables in use in 2030.
Last but not least, National Grid's Low Carbon Life scenario examines a situation with short-term volatility in energy policy and no additional targets in which renewables in 2030 stand at 62.2 GW. Of the total 35.5 GW will be wind and 17 GW will come from solar, according to the report.
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