Renewable energy could meet almost all of the UK’s electricity needs by 2030, a new report published by WWF has found. Between 60-90% of the UK’s electricity demand could be covered by wind, solar, tidal and other renewable power sources, with a firm renewable energy target for 2030 in place, WWF said.
The report added that renewables can decarbonise the UK’s power sector without resorting to new nuclear power.
This shows that “a clean, renewable energy future really is within our grasp. If we seize this opportunity, it will lay the foundations for a clean industrial revolution in the UK, with all the jobs and exports opportunities that brings, as well as being a major step forward in tackling climate change”, David Nussbaum, chief executive of WWF-UK, said.
Stéphane Bourgeois, Head of Regulatory Affairs at EWEA, said that the report’s recommendation for a 2030 renewable energy target “would provide much needed certainty for investors after 2020.”
Focussing on the economic benefits of renewable energy, Michael Rolls from Siemens said that the report “highlights the need for strong stable policies to drive investment, stimulating the green economy and bringing skilled manufacturing, construction and service jobs to the UK.”
Rising electricity prices also feature in the report. Anders Søe-Jensen noted that the report “shows that electricity prices have largely risen due to increases in gas prices, not increases in wind power and that high levels of wind power will shield consumers from volatile gas prices in future.”
90% renewables with European interconnection
With greater interconnection with Europe, 90% renewables could be achieved. The UK could then become a net exporter of clean energy to the rest of Europe. “The UK can no longer remain an energy island. The time for interconnections with the rest of Europe – and interconnections between other European countries, known collectively as a European ‘supergrid’ – has come…Now is the time to stop talking about it and start building it!” Graham Watson MEP said.
EWEA is campaigning for a single European market in electricity and an extended and improved electricity grid. Find out more here.