The UK meets all its renewable energy and carbon targets on time under just one of four scenarios set out in National Grid Plc's (LON:NG) 2015 Future Energy Scenarios report, which was launched on Wednesday.
The scenarios consider differing policy and economic landscapes and their potential impact on energy supply and demand. In the Gone Green scenario the climate targets are achieved with the help of a strong green agenda and underlying economic growth. Under it, renewables provide 34% of the electricity supply by 2020, with wind power accounting for 18% of total output. The report says that the growth in renewable generation required to meet the 2020 climate change goals under the Gone Green scenario is centred on wind, both onshore and offshore, and solar, in view of the maturity of the latter technology and the opportunity for large-scale and rapid deployment.
RenewableUK, which represents the wind, wave and tidal energy industries, welcomed the report.
"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 the trade body's director of policy, Gordon Edge. He noted that the Gone Green scenario envisaged the addition of 6 GW of onshore wind between 2020 and 2030 in order to meet 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," added Edge.
In the Slow Progression scenario, the shift to low-carbon and renewable technologies is delayed by financial constraints, while the No Progression scenario is dominated by established generation due to financial constraints and a lack of focus on decarbonisation.The Consumer Power scenario, where innovation is focused on meeting the needs of consumers, sees the highest levels of small-scale solar generation.