Falling cost of renewables should prompt further use

The National Infrastructure Commission has said that sharp falls in the cost of renewable generation means that Britain should aim for renewables to meet two thirds of electricity needs by 2030.

Furthermore, the NIC says that this can be delivered at the same overall cost as meeting only half of total demand by that date.

The findings from the research indicate that the UK could make significant progress towards its net zero greenhouse gas emissions target if the rights steps are taken – leading the Commission to update its recommended target for deployment of renewables as part of a low cost low carbon electricity system, from 50 per cent to 65 per cent by 2030.

The report notes that shifts in government policy to support more renewable electricity schemes as part of a green recovery would encourage private investment to drive innovation and could help provide confidence in the economy at a crucial time. It also says that a refreshed pipeline of ‘contracts for difference’ auctions – a government guaranteed contract that offers generators a fixed revenue stream for the power it provides – should be set out to accelerate more offshore wind, onshore wind and solar power projects.

Sir John Armitt, chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, said: “The government should be credited for recent steps to encourage quicker deployment of renewables, and for setting up successful mechanisms for encouraging private sector investments. These latest projections suggest we can afford to go further, faster without hitting consumers in the pocket. The National Infrastructure Strategy needs to include a long term policy on future energy that reflects these facts and helps deliver the green recovery we all want to see.”