‘UK needs 49.5GW of flexibility to become 100% renewable’

Wärtsilä says this is necessary for the UK’s energy systems to be powered by 100% renewable energy

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Technology group Wärtsilä has stressed that the UK must install more flexible energy storage and gas technologies if it is to achieve an entirely renewable future.

It has highlighted the need for 49.5GW of flexible assets if the UK’s energy systems are to be powered by 100% renewable energy at the lowest cost. The capacity is made up of 7.3GW of energy storage and more than 42.2GW of flexible gas power.

Wärtsilä found the UK to have the thirteenth greatest need for flexible solutions in the G20.

It has stated a large amount of overcapacity is needed due to the variability of wind and solar generation and that a balance between renewable production and flexible gas and energy storage would be 38% cheaper than relying on energy storage alone.

Pekka Tolonen, Energy Business Director at Wärtsilä, said: “Last month’s UN climate report gives a clear message for the UK; to decarbonise at the lowest cost, high levels of renewable energy must be scaled up by 2030.

“What we have learned from modelling over 145 countries and regions in our Atlas of 100% Renewable Energy is that power systems with high levels of renewables need a significant amount of flexibility, through energy storage and gas balancing technology to achieve the transition to 100% renewable energy future.”