Future of UK energy supply questioned

The Energy Networks Association told MPs that maintaining a diverse energy mix and encouraging investment was both important for the UK’s energy future and for meeting climate change targets. Giving […]

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By Tom Gibson

The Energy Networks Association told MPs that maintaining a diverse energy mix and encouraging investment was both important for the UK’s energy future and for meeting climate change targets.

Giving evidence to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee inquiry, ‘The UKs Energy Supply: security or independence?’ Steven Edwards, Head of Regulation at Wales and West Utilities, said: “In a low-carbon future it is important to have a sustainable baseline to compensate for when the wind doesn’t blow. A balanced energy portfolio is a key part of this solution. Gas has a vital role to play both in meeting peaks in demand and as an affordable bridge to a secure and sustainable energy future.”

Mr Edwards said the UK would have to rely, in part, on fossil fuels: “The supply of gas to domestic customers is vital to managing the cost to consumers. Full electrification would be very costly. Gas remains the reliable fuel of choice formuch of the UK as well as key to addressing fuel poverty.

The National Grid said there would be major hurdles to deal with moving into a system reliant on renewables.

Nick Winser, Executive Director UK, National Grid said: “It’s a very different system to run. We will have to change how we run it, but that’s our job. If we do end up with 30GW of installed wind you might see variants of 15GW. We would have to forecast very carefully and make sure there’s back-up plants that can run.”