A report commissioned by WWF and Greenpeace has insisted the Government can meet energy needs by championing renewables and promoting more efficiency initiatives.
Independent energy experts Poyry completed the report which claims new coal and gas power stations would not have to be built if the UK Government achieved its commitments on meeting EU renewable energy targets and followed through its plans for energy efficiency.
Keith Allott, Head of Climate Change at WWF-UK, said: 'This report should be good news for the Government.
“If it gets real on its targets on renewables and energy efficiency then we can keep the lights on, reduce our reliance on expensive fossil fuel imports and dramatically cut our carbon emissions.”
Robin Oakley, head of the climate and energy team at Greenpeace, said: 'Coal is the single most climate-wrecking form of electricity generation. The only reason anyone is even considering building Britain's first coal fired power station in decades is the claim that we need it to keep the lights on.'
The report considered six scenarios for meeting Britain's commitments to deliver on the binding EU renewable energy commitments for 2020, and for future electricity demand, and assessed whether any additional capacity from conventional sources such as coal and gas would be needed to secure the UK's electricity needs.
Wind power in particular has come under fire from some energy companies who question whether it is reliable, but the report claimed coal or gas plants would not be needed to meet demand peaks - even taking into account the very few days when there is little or no wind.