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UK needs range of renewable energy sources as low wind threatens energy security

New research from Imperial College backs up the IEA report last week said that said a wide range of measures and technologies are needed to achieve net-zero emissions

Changing weather patterns could disrupt the UK’s energy supply unless the government supports the creation of diverse sources of renewable energy, according to new research.

Britain’s wind output in March was the lowest it has been in more than a decade and a report by Imperial College London, commissioned by coal and biofuel company () has highlighted the threat to the UK’s energy security of relying too much on wind, saying prolonged low-wind periods could reoccur roughly every 20 years, on average.

READ: Britain to triple number of electric vehicle charging points with £300mln programme

“With wind and solar power set to supply half our electricity needs in the next five years, these extreme events will become much more impactful,” said Dr Malte Jansen of Imperial College London, co-author of the report.

“To bridge the gap and deliver a net zero energy system, the UK needs to invest in much more clean and flexible technologies, such as long-duration energy storage.”

This comes after the IEA report last week said that for the world to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 there should be no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects and that a wide range of measures and technologies are needed to achieve net-zero emissions.

The IEA highlighted the significant role that technologies such as green hydrogen needs to play in meeting long-term emission reduction targets.

While the global installed base of hydrogen electrolysers is currently only around 0.3 gigawatts (GW), the IEA’s net zero emissions (NZE) by 2050 scenario sees 850GW of installed electrolyser capacity by 2030 rising to 2400GW by 2040 and 3600GW by 2050.

This 2030E scenario has a faster hydrogen consumption growth rate than the Hydrogen Council has laid out, with the IEA’s path has hydrogen consumption seeing circa 210mln tonnes compared to the Hydrogen Council’s estimate of just-under 100mln tonnes.

The IEA’s estimate of 850GW massively exceeds Citigroup’s previous estimate of 160GW, analysts said in a note to clients on Monday, also pointing out that to enable green hydrogen, the IEA also sees a significant ramp in the share of electricity from renewables.

Citi highlighted ‘buy’-rated electrolyser companies Ceres Power (), ITM Power (), and Nel ASA, as well as renewables-energy players Siemens Gamesa and Vestas.

Read More: UK needs range of renewable energy sources as low wind threatens energy security

2021-05-24 05:19:00

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