Monday 18 December 2023

“UK’s 2035 power decarbonisation unlikely”

“UK’s 2035 power decarbonisation unlikely”

The UK's goal to decarbonise its power system by 2035 appears unattainable, according to analysis from Aurora Energy Research.

Modelling by the group indicates that offshore wind capacity must increase over fourfold, nuclear power needs a 35% growth, and pumped hydro storage must surge by over 150% to meet the target.

Aurora states that these expansions are currently "simply not feasible" due to existing development timelines, market design uncertainties, grid expansion rates, and the nascent status of crucial technologies like carbon capture and storage and hydrogen.

The report suggests that a more "realistic" target for decarbonising the power system could be the early 2040s, requiring unprecedented efforts from various stakeholders.

Aurora emphasises the worthiness of reducing power sector emissions to net zero, aligning with the broader national goal of reaching net zero across the economy by 2050.

Marc Hedin, Head of Research for the UK and Ireland at Aurora, said: "There is a high risk that concentrating efforts around an unachievable target will ultimately impede, rather than accelerate, the country’s energy transition.

"While it’s important to promote an ambitious plan, policymakers need to provide a framework that is designed to deliver the target, otherwise it’s wishful thinking. No one invests because of a target."

Written by

Sumit Bose

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