Energy: Forecasts and Estimates
House of Lords

Photo of Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Lord Kennedy of Southwark (Labour)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the amount of energy that will be derived from wind power in the United Kingdom by 2025 and 2050.

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the amount of energy that will be derived from nuclear power in the United Kingdom by 2025 and 2050.

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the amount of energy that will be derived from hydroelectric power in the United Kingdom by 2025 and 2050.

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the amount of energy that will be derived from waste in the United Kingdom by 2025 and 2050.

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the amount of energy that will be derived from natural gas in the United Kingdom by 2025 and 2050.

Photo of Baroness Stowell of Beeston

Baroness Stowell of Beeston (Conservative)

The latest DECC estimate for projected primary demand for natural gas in 2025 is 870 TWh1. This is based on DECC's Updated Energy and Emissions Projections, published in October 2011, available at: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/about/ec_social_res/analytic_projs/en_emis_projs/en_emis_projs.aspx.

However, these estimates do not include additional policies to meet the 4th carbon budget (2023-27) as set out in the Carbon Plan, published on 1 December 2011.

In the Carbon Plan, DECC published a range of possible scenarios (based on modelling by Redpoint Energy) for electricity generation from wind, hydroelectric, waste and nuclear in 2030 (see here: http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/tackling-climate-change/carbon-plan/3702-the-carbon-plan-delivering-our-low-carbon-future.pdf, page 73). The analysis considered a range of decarbonisation scenarios consistent with meeting carbon budgets and the 2050 goal. This finds that depending on assumed possible build rates new nuclear contributed anywhere from 10 to 15 GW by 2030 in the scenarios modelled. Actual build rates could make this range higher or lower: industry has announced ambitions to build 16 GW of nuclear by 2025. CCS contributed as much as 10 GW by 2030 in the scenarios modelled. This should not be seen as an upper limit to the potential of CCS-more could be deployed if costs reduce quickly. The analysis showed that renewable electricity could provide 35 to 50 GW by 2030, with the upper end assuming either high electricity demand or significant cost reductions. However, the Committee on Climate Change's renewable energy review suggests that we could have over 55 GW of renewable electricity capacity by 2030, subject to resolution of current uncertainties such as cost reductions and barriers to deployment. It is important to stress that these are not projections but some of the possible scenarios to meet our carbon budgets and 2050 target.

In addition, the Carbon Plan sets out four plausible pathways towards 2050. Details of these pathways are set out in annexe A of the Carbon Plan: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/emissions/carbon_budgets/carbon_budgets.aspx.

These were produced using the 2050 pathways calculator tool, which supports users in exploring these and other pathways in great detail. It is available at: http://2050-calculator-tool.decc.gov.uk/.

The range of primary energy demand by type from the four pathways is shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Energy by source in the UK, 2050 (TWh) 2
Natural gas 90 to 189
Waste 107 to 194
Wind power 63 to 288
Hydroelectric power 5 to 7
Nuclear power 110 to 525

Source: 2050 Calculator (December 2011)

1 Includes all fuel used for transformation into other forms of energy (eg, electricity, heat or transportation). This is energy before conversion losses. Source: Updated Energy and Emissions Projections, October 2011.

2 Wind. hydroelectric and nuclear are electrical energy delivered to the grid. Natural gas and waste are primary energy used for transformation into other forms of energy (ie, electricity, and heat).

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