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National Grid – UK renewable energy supply to jump to 33 per cent

The UK’s total energy supply from renewable sources is expected to double to over 30 per cent between 2020 and 2030, according to the National Grid

The estimation is based on the government reaching its climate and renewable energy policy targets.

Generation from renewable sources is expected to increase from 232TWh in 2020 to 474TWh a decade later, accounting for about a third of national supply. During the same period, Britain’s total energy demand is forecast to fall by nearly 5 per cent to 1402TWh.

Wholesale power prices are expected to rise from about five pence per KWh to about 10 pence during the 2010-20 period. They would “continue to track gas prices, with the proportion of gas-fired generation remaining high for the majority of the forecast period,” said the National Grid in its Gone Green Scenario. Moreover, it expects phase 3 carbon costs to increase.

In terms of power supply, the first new nuclear reactors are scheduled for commissioning in 2019-20 while the majority of current coal-fired power plants are to shutdown by 2023. However, around 4GW of clean, CCS coal would be operational. The report also expected existing gas-fired plants to close at around 25 years of age, and a total of 13 GW of new conventional gas plants to connect.

Due to falling domestic gas production and stagnating pipeline supplies from other European sources, it is envisaged that the country would become increasingly dependent on LNG imports. “LNG imports are shown to plateau at about 40bnm3 or 70 per cent of capacity,” the report said. “At these utilisation rates additional LNG import capacity may be needed; if it is not built some of the current LNG supply flexibility may be reduced.”