Britain can produce 85% of its power via renewable energy by 2030 provided it undergoes significant changes in energy production and use, according to a new study by Greenpeace.
The study attempts to counter the argument that only fossil fuels and nuclear power can keep the lights on for the next few decades, the Guardian has reported.
It foresees wind leaping from today’s level of 13 gigawatts (GW) of wind farms in operation – enough to power around 10 million homes – to a level of 77GW in 2030, with solar rising from just more than 5GW to 28GW.
However, the renewables drive would need to be accompanied by a 60% reduction in demand for domestic heating through a home insulation programme and other initiatives, according to the report by energy system analysts, Demand Energy Equality.
The plan, which would require a major change in government policies, envisages fossil fuels playing a role via combined gas-fired heat and power projects.
Many homes and buildings would also need to move away from gas-fired boilers to their own ground source heat pumps or an electricity source.
The report is published in the run up to the UN-sponsored climate change talks in Paris and at a time when the Conservative government has axed a series of green subsidy schemes to wind and solar on the grounds of cost.