POSITIVE ENERGY: HOW RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY CAN TRANSFORM THE UK BY 2030 BY IWWF UK, OCTOBER 2011

 

The UK has an opportunity to become a world leader in clean, renewable energy. But choices made in the coming months and years could lead to continued dominance of high  carbon fossil fuel power generation. Or to greater dependence on risky nuclear power.

This report shows that renewable sources can meet 60% or more of the UK’s electricity demand by 2030. By using this amount of renewable energy, we can decarbonise the  power sector without resorting to new nuclear power. We will also be able to maintain system security – that is, provide enough electricity at all times to make sure there’s never a risk of the ‘lights going out’.

Around a quarter of the UK’s ageing power generation capacity is due to close over the coming decade. To ensure system security, we need significant investment in new electricity generation capacity and to reduce demand for electricity. The government must also rise to the challenge of climate change, making sure the power sector plays its full part in meeting the requirements of the Climate Change Act. The Committee on 
Climate Change (CCC) has made it clear that UK power generation must be essentially carbon-free by 2030. The government needs solid, ambitious commitments and targets to drive investment in sustainable low carbon power generation and avoid locking the UK into a new generation of high emission unabated fossil fuel plants.

WWF believes that the UK must decarbonise its power sector in an environmentally sustainable way. For this reason we would prefer to avoid new nuclear due to the unacceptable risk of a catastrophic accident and the legacy of dangerous radioactive waste for which there’s no effective long-term storage solution.

In this context, this report aims to answer the key question:

Can the UK achieve a secure, sustainable and decarbonised power sector by 2030 by shifting away from polluting fossil fuels and nuclear power      
to an energy efficient system built around clean and inexhaustible renewable energy?

To read the report, please click here.