Cutting the cost of decarbonising electricity in Great Britain
The need to reach net zero emissions by 2050 is driving a transformation of the GB energy system. The UK was the first major economy to commit to net zero emissions by 2050, and the UK Government has also set into law the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) recommendation to reduce emissions in 2035 by 78% compared to 1990 levels in the sixth Carbon Budget.
There are multiple possible pathways to achieving these ambitious targets through the deployment of different technologies and policies. So how do you build a low carbon energy system without breaking the bank?
In this report commissioned by SSE, we assess the most efficient ways to decarbonise whilst keeping costs down and the lights on.
The analysis identifies five steps where policy and regulatory change can provide system cost savings of nearly £50bn between now and 2050. They are:
- Go big on a renewables-led energy system centred on offshore wind.
- Gas CCS and hydrogen power generation will complement renewables.
- Longer duration storage and green hydrogen are needed to balance a renewables-led system.
- All low carbon generation must be valued equally.
- A co-ordinated offshore transmission network can significantly reduce the network costs.
Our interactive website allows you to take a deep dive into the analysis behind this report and explore the five steps to achieving a net zero power system in more detail.
To explore these findings further, we held a joint webinar hosted by SSE. It included analysis from LCP Partners Tom Porter and Chris Matson, followed by a panel discussion with energy industry leaders including:
- Rachel Cary, Head of Future Energy Security and Markets, UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
- Apu Shah, Head of Renewable Electricity Analysis, UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
- Rt Hon Claire O’Neill, Managing Director, Energy and Climate, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
- Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive, SSE
- Lord Adair Turner, Chair, Energy Transitions Commission
Watch the webinar on-demand now.
We don’t have time – or money – to waste and with an abundance of clean, green renewable energy on our doorstep and new technologies emerging as cost-effective front runners, the UK should focus its efforts on lower cost routes to reach net zero.
To achieve this route to a cleaner and greener future, policy and regulation will need to give a clear signal on the UK’s decarbonisation trajectory. This will attract the investment needed to build the net zero infrastructure required to make sure the UK fully addresses the climate crisis.
How we can help
We can help our clients with a wide range of issues from whole system modelling to individual power plant and policy impact analysis.
Strategic advice aimed at maximising the benefits and minimising the risks associated with the Capacity Market and Contracts for Difference.
We advise on the optimal dispatch of assets within the wholesale market, forward planning of maintenance activities and valuation of commercial upgrades to plant.
We provide detailed forecasts of the GB and Irish power markets, using our EnVision modelling framework. This can provide both short-term and long-term forecasts of all key system metrics, from system wide to individual assets.
We work extensively in the Irish market, providing market modelling and analysis to investors, generation owners and governments.
Enact is an advanced data integration and analytics platform for the GB electricity short-term markets, allowing power traders to make more informed decisions and analysts to benchmark their asset's performance.
We combine bottom-up unit-level modelling with market and policy insights to quantify the value and understand the risk associated with any generation asset.