Consumer behaviour is pivotal to decarbonisation, says National Grid ESO

Accelerating the transition to a decarbonised energy system can help to address security and affordability, according to a report

Big Zero Report 2022

The way people react to policy changes and embrace smart green technology will be vital to meeting net zero.

That’s one of the key findings of the National Grid ESO’s annual Future Energy Scenarios report which suggests “significant” levels of demand-side flexibility are needed to operate the electricity system without unabated natural gas after 2035.

Suppliers must be further supported to increase the availability of flexible time-of-use-tariffs so that consumers can benefit from low prices at times of high renewable output.

Earlier today, the government published the Review of Electricity Market Arrangements (REMA) which include proposals to offer incentives to consumers to draw energy from the grid at cheaper rates when demand is low.

The report also calls for a strategy that incentivises long-duration storage and early hydrogen uptake.

These technologies are required to avoid significant renewable energy being wasted during periods of oversupply, according to National Grid ESO.

Across all the scenarios by 2030 the system operator has assessed, wind and solar generation will rise from the current 43% of GB energy supply to at least 66%.

The analysis also predicts that the annual transmission constraint costs, which have increased from £170 million in 2010 to £1.3 billion this year, will continue to rise.

Fintan Slye, Executive Director of ESO, said: “By 2035, we want to run a fully decarbonised electricity system all the time – helping the UK on its way to meeting its legally binding target of net zero by 2050.

“Through reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and moving towards 100% renewable and low carbon energy, we can create long-term energy security and deliver sustainable economic opportunities across the country.”

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