RSPB scenarios include up to 88% renewables in UK by 2050
The three scenarios. Source: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (http://www.rspb.org.uk).
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ (RSPB) scenarios to meet the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction target by 2050 include between 56% and 88% of renewables in energy supply.
The charitable organisation’s study shows that the maximum potential for renewable energy generation in areas of low ecological risk stands at 6,277 TWh per year, including a very high volume of floating offshore wind. In reality the figure is smaller as there are many limitations, but still renewables are contributing the majority of UK energy.
The three scenarios RSPB developed combine renewables with electricity imports and CCS (carbon capture and storage) for fossil fueled plants. The share of oil and gas, combined, is between 9% and 11% as the transportation and heating sectors cannot be electrified in full. There is no nuclear energy.
Renewables have the highest share in total energy supply, 88%, in the high marine renewables scenario, where half of UK electricity comes from floating offshore wind. It assumes that there is strong progress with offshore technologies -- wind, wave and tidal power, but carbon capture and storage is not successfully commercialised.
The share of renewables is 70% in the mixed renewables scenario, a combination of onshore and offshore technologies. That scenario assumes that CCS is available to provide 21% of energy supply.
Renewables supply 56% of the UK’s 2050 energy mix in the high onshore scenario, where floating wind is not available and the country uses more onshore wind and solar. This scenario assumes that CCS is available to provide 33% of energy supply.
"[..] the scenarios are certainly not meant to provide a certain picture of the future. We want, instead, to initiate a debate about what we need to do now to put us on the right path towards a low carbon future which avoids trading away the natural environment," the organisation said.