National Grid: U.K. renewable energy targets will not be exceeded

While the U.K.-based utility company still expects the government’s renewable electricity adoption goals to be met, National Grid has abandoned its “accelerated growth” scenario for renewable energy.

In its annual future energy scenarios paper, National Grid said political uncertainty about the policy commitment of the next government led the utility to reject the idea that renewable energy could surpass the current government goal of 15 percent renewable energy by 2020.

“We’ve retired our accelerated growth scenario. This is a scenario we’ve produced for the last couple of years, which has as its fundamental premise exceeding the deployment of renewable energy above that required to hit the government targets,” said Richard Smith, head of energy strategy and policy for National Grid. “Over the past 12 months our stakeholders have consistently told us that’s no longer a credible scenario, so this year we’ve taken it out of the scenarios we’ve produced.”

Instead only two alternatives are considered: a “gone green” scenario in which the country presses ahead with renewable energy generation and a “slow progression” alternative in which either high gas or high coal production continues.

The “gone green” scenario also requires moderate economic growth, an increase in energy efficiency as a result of the government’s struggling green deal program and a stable carbon price.

The report blames a failure to reach global climate agreements, differing goals across government departments, skepticism about offshore wind energy by some in government and the perceived financial risk of investing in U.K. energy markets as limiting factors for renewable energy adoption in the U.K.

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