Policy statement

Engineering the UK electricity gap

The future of UK power generation in light of recent changes to government energy policy.

Now is the time to review plans for a comprehensive and integrated electricity generation system in the UK. More electric heating, more electric vehicles and the further electrification of railways, combined with an increase in population mean demand for electricity will continue to increase.

But we’ll have neither the resources nor the skills to build enough combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) fired power stations to plug the gap.

In this policy statement we argue that government must develop a comprehensive long-term strategy for energy production to identify the need for research and innovation, awareness raising and advocacy for demand reduction. The strategy would also help to understand the consequences of removing or adding technologies into the mix.

We also lay out five priorities for emission reductions and UK competitiveness, ranging from the most sustainable, changing wasteful behaviour to reduce demand and conserve energy, to the least sustainable, continuing to use conventional resources as we do now.

By setting out likely scenarios based on current policy, electricity generation and natural gas supply, we reflect on how the UK electricity supply system could look in 2025, based on government’s 2025 deadline to design, build and deliver new power to the grid.

Key recommendations

1. The UK Infrastructure Commission must assess the incentives for industry and the public to reduce demand on the electricity system by engineering efficiencies into processes and equipment and focusing on awareness raising and advocacy.

2. The UK Infrastructure Commission must urgently implement changes across the industry and supply chain to deliver security of electricity supply with no coal-fired generation, including investment in research and development for renewables, energy storage, combined heat and power and innovation in power station design and build.

3. Government and its public and private sector partners must review supply chain capacity to deliver the ‘most likely’ new power infrastructure by identifying timeframes for power generation build and plans to boost skills to meet increased demand.

Related links

Read the press release about this policy statement. 



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