Growing Up: Onshore wind’s place in a competitive, low carbon power generation system
At a Crossroad – the UK Power Market
The UK is at a pivotal moment in the development of its power system as it makes the transition to a 21st century low carbon generation system based largely on gas, nuclear and renewables. The current situation is complex, as policy decision makers try to manage the energy trilemma:
- Maintain security of supply as older fossil fuel power assets are retired;
- Transition to a low carbon, more diverse energy mix
- Ensuring affordability, managing the impact on consumers’ bills.
Significant progress has been made towards meeting the UK’s carbon reduction commitments particularly in the power sector, where emissions fell by 18 percent between 2013 and 2014, the largest reduction since reporting began in 1990. This can largely be attributed to the stable policy regime, underpinned by mechanisms such as the Renewables Obligation and the small scale Feed-in Tariff. Due to the momentum created in the deployment of the major renewable energy technologies, onshore and offshore wind are well placed to increase their share of the electricity mix from 20 percent in 2014 to around 30 percent by 2020 and further potential post-2020.