If we are to move to a low carbon economy we have to make changes fast to the electricity sector. That was the view of Dr Nick Eyre, a Co-director of the UK Energy Research Centre who predicted the demand for electricity would greatly increase but that developments would have to happen, and happen fast, for the rest of the UK energy market to adapt.
Dr Eyre said: “The electricity sector actually needs to be de-carbonised quicker, by 2030 so that other structures can be de-carbonised as well. The demand for electricity will go up. Where will it come from?”
A low-carbon system being in place by 2050 is “perfectly feasible” said Dr Eyre but added that it would come “at an affordable cost, although it wouldn’t be cheap.”
Speaking to a panel at the Environment Agency’s Annual Conference Dr Eyre suggested lifestyle changes and pro-environmental behaviours would cumulatively make a huge difference: “It’s going to need some careful policy making to meet the challenges.”
Andrew Simms, a Policy Director at The New Economic Foundation called for much stronger investment into future energies: “If we’re not laying the foundations for the skills needed to re-fit and re-kit Britain now it’ll be decades before we do.”