Future of energy
Rapid delivery of clean power generation across the UK has shown the potential for affordable, reliable low carbon technology to deliver jobs, economic growth and export opportunities.
As a sector, we are clear that the future of energy is Net Zero.
Our members are investing in a wide range of technologies and services as we move towards a Net Zero electricity system.
The Government has outlined targets which require a huge increase in low carbon generation, including:
50GW of offshore wind by 2030
up from around 14GW in 2023
24GW of nuclear by 2050
up from around 7GW in 2023
The Future of the UK Power Market
Beyond clean power generation the decarbonisation of heat, transport, and wider commercial and industrial sectors, we will see a fundamental shift in the nature of the UK energy system. Close to real-time signals will be sent between a modernised System Operator and a huge number of energy assets across the system, allowing smaller assets to respond in a coordinated manner.
Energy storage will be increasingly used across the system, and a range of existing and emerging technologies will play into this, all with their own attributes and capabilities.
As low carbon technology becomes more popular with customers, electric vehicles, heat pumps, and a wide range of other available technologies will not only change the demands on the system, but also the way people interact with energy.
Automated smart controls that deliver a specific outcome, like ensuring people a specific amount of charge in your electric vehicle when they wake up, will enable consumers to save money or even earn a dividend for changing when and how then charge. This type of demand side response (DSR) has been utilised in the Demand Flexibility Service run throughout winter 22/23 to support the energy system during continuing high gas prices.
These changes will need to be underpinned by innovative business models and consumer services delivered through a reformed, competitive and sustainable retail market operating within a regulatory framework that works for customers, helping them reduce their bills and their usage and carbon footprint by enabling uptake of low carbon and flexible technology.
The Future of Energy
The energy sector is not only embracing change, but leading it.
Cheap, low carbon technologies will naturally reduce the amount of gas we use in the UK as we see significant ‘electrification’ of heat, but gas continues to play a significant role for the UK.
Carbon capture and hydrogen production technologies will be key to defining the role of gas beyond the 2030s, and we expect that power generation, energy storage, and industrial processes will be the main markets for these technologies, with a potential role in aviation, shipping, heavy goods vehicles, and even heating still to be defined.
What is clear as we investigate the uncertainty ahead is that this is no longer a matter of picking specific technologies that can deliver the outcome we need; the climate crisis demands that we accelerate delivery across all technologies, fuel types, and business models in order to deliver Net Zero in the most cost-effective manner for consumers.