UK could miss 2020 emissions targets by at least five years

The UK could miss its emissions targets by five years, if the country’s energy market falls in line with one of three scenarios imagined by the National Grid. The electricity […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The UK could miss its emissions targets by five years, if the country’s energy market falls in line with one of three scenarios imagined by the National Grid. The electricity and gas company, which connects consumers with energy via its network, has published a new paper presenting three energy supply and demand scenarios up to 2050.

In one, dubbed the ‘Slow Progression’ scenario, the UK’s emissions and renewable targets for 2020 are not met until after 2025. The report puts this down to “comparatively slow” developments in renewable and low carbon energy.

National Grid said it looked at three scenarios because its traditional, single, prediction did not offer a “sufficiently rich picture of possible futures” which was needed at a time of change in the energy market.

Other future routes, the ‘Gone Green’ and ‘Accelerated Growth’ scenarios, see the UK either hitting its targets or eclipsing them.

Richard Smith, National Grid’s Future Transmission Networks Manager said: “The new publication shows how emissions targets could be met – or not met – under three different scenarios driven by the economy and the demand for heat, transport and electricity.”

The report forms a new part of the National Grid’s annual consultation process and the predictions will be revised every year using feedback from the industry.