Oct 04, 2021

UK electricity 'to run on clean energy by 2035'

Energy
electricity
Decarbonisation
UK
Dominic Ellis
2 min
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledges that UK electricity should run on clean energy by 2035

The UK's electricity grid will aim to be completely powered by clean energy sources from 2035, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

It follows the government's target to stop selling new fossil fuel powered vehicles from 2030.

"What we’re also saying is that by 2035, looking at the progress we’re making in wind power - where we lead the world now in offshore wind - looking at what we can do with other renewable sources, carbon capture and storage with hydrogen potentially, we think that we can get to complete clean energy production by 2035," he said, speaking at a Network Rail event today.

In June 2019, Parliament went beyond the UK’s existing commitment to an 80% reduction on 1990 emissions levels by legislating for a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050.

"The UK has made significant progress in decarbonising the economy. Overall emissions have fallen by 40% since 1990; more than any other advanced economy. For example, almost half our electricity came from renewable or low carbon sources last year," notes Ofgem.

But it warns significant challenges remain if we are to continue on the path to meet our 2050 goals.

"The way we heat our homes and our transport needs to transform," it adds. "Only 5% of the energy used to heat our homes today is from low carbon sources and our use of electric vehicles may need to grow from 230,000 today to 39 million by 2050. To meet the challenge of net zero, we must now go further and faster, especially in decarbonising transport, heating and our industrial use of energy.

Getting to 100 percent is likely to be difficult, both technically and economically, according to McKinsey.

"Newer technologies will need to be deployed to match supply and demand when wind- and solar-power production are depressed. Among them: biofuels, carbon capture, power to gas to power, and direct air capture," it states.

"Given differences in climate, natural resources, and infrastructure, different markets will take different pathways to decarbonise their power systems."

 

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