Gas generation ‘threat’ to decarbonisation goal

The UK Government’s plans for more gas generation could be a “threat” to the country’s decarbonisation goal. That’s the concern of environmental group WWF, following Energy Secretary Ed Davey’s announcement […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The UK Government’s plans for more gas generation could be a “threat” to the country’s decarbonisation goal.

That’s the concern of environmental group WWF, following Energy Secretary Ed Davey’s announcement yesterday where he called for more investment in gas at the GasTech conference in London. He said it would be “consistent” with Britain’s plans to cut carbon emissions.

Mr Davey also said he expected around 20GW of new gas capacity to be built between now and 2030 in electricity generation alone. However, earlier this year the Climate Change Committee said the UK should not build more than 10GW of unabated gas capacity over the next two decades.

It said if that amount was built, the UK’s total capacity in 2030 would be 30GW, which would add up to four times the decarbonisation goal recommended by the Committee.

Nick Molho, Head of Energy Policy at WWF-UK said: “Although we welcome Ed Davey’s recognition that a 2030 decarbonisation target is good for business and the climate, building 20GW of new unabated gas over the next two decades does not appear to be compatible with achieving this goal in the absence of any proposal in the forthcoming Energy Bill which would limit the running hours of gas plant in the run up to 2030.

“Whilst we recognise that gas-fired generation will have a useful role to play in balancing the UK’s electricity system in 2030, gas is no silver bullet and its role will need to be carefully monitored if the UK is to have a near-decarbonised power sector by 2030, as called for repeatedly by the Committee on Climate Change.”