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UK Emission & Energy Projections – 2017

January 11, 2018

By Paul Homewood

PEI report on the latest UK Energy & Emissions Projections, just published:

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The UK’s energy department has decided to row back on its projections for new gas-fired power capacity.
The
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is instead predicting brighter prospects for renewables and nuclear power instead.
Analysis performed by Carbon Brief of the BEIS energy and emissions forecasts suggest the department has cut its projections for the amount of new gas plants needed by 2035 by more than half since publishing its previous forecasts last year.


The forecasts show expectations that twice as much renewable energy capacity will come online by 2035 as it did in 2015, as well as twice as much battery storage capacity as it projected just a year ago,  according to the analysis.
"Following a sharp fall in coal fired generation in 2016, the DDM [BEIS’s forecast model] projects a further gradual decline in fossil fuel based generation out to 2035," the
BEIS document states. "This is displaced by more renewables and eventually nuclear based generation with increased imports (via interconnectors) until new nuclear capacity reduces the need for this in the 2030s."
The figures also show there still remains a gap in the overall CO2 cuts needed to meet statutory carbon reduction targets from 2023 onwards.
While the government still expects to meet the second and third carbon budgets, for the fourth carbon budget – 2023 to 2027 – UK emissions "are currently projected to be greater than the cap set by the budget, so a shortfall remains against this target", the BEIS document states.
The government’s Clean Growth Strategy, published in October, had also conceded a gap currently exists, but suggested future innovation and policy changes could help make up the shortfall.
Meanwhile solar PV continues to deploy at around half the level government expected it to, recent statistics have revealed.
Last Friday Ofgem released its most recent FiT deployment statistics, revealing how much solar had been installed during Q4 2017 – total rooftop deployment currently standing at just over half of what was originally forecast when the scheme was redesigned in late 2015.

http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2018/01/uk-government-halves-projections-for-gas-fired-power-capacity.html

This is how the government projections map out:

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https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/updated-energy-and-emissions-projections-2017

Renewables will make up nearly half of the total capacity, but dispatchable capacity will be only 43 GW, plus 20 GW from interconnectors.

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Given that we probably need at least 65 GW, this seems impossibly tight, even if we can rely on imports when we need them.

Other points:

1) The projections also assume that there will be 13 GW of new build nuclear by 2035.

In regard to nuclear, the government document states:

These projections are not based on developers’ proposed pipeline of nuclear projects. Instead we have made a simplifying assumption of steady frequency of deployment of new nuclear plants. Whilst there are several projects in the pipeline, it would be improper for Government to pre-empt which of them will come forward and on what timelines.

In other words, the 13 GW is not based on a realistic pipeline, but on a “simplifying assumption”.

2) 11 GW of storage is projected. However the generation figures make clear that storage will actually supply very little electricity, just 6 TWh. Half of this is already being supplied from existing pumped storage, so new storage projects will make little difference at all.

As I have noted previously, battery storage, based on current technology, is little use, other than for very short peaking periods.

3) There will need to be 15 GW of new interconnector capacity built.

4) Generation from renewables will rise from 79 TWh to 192 TWh by 2035.

Given that new development of solar and offshore onshore wind have dried up, following the withdrawal of subsidies, most of this will have to come from offshore wind, which will push the cost of subsidies well above current levels.

Assuming an average subsidy of £100/MWh, not untypical for offshore CfDs already in the pipeline, this extra generation would add £11.3bn to current subsidies.

There will need to be be 45 GW of new build renewable capacity by 2035.

These are, of course, merely projections, and not hard plans.

Nevertheless it is hard not to conclude that the government is having to come up with these fantasy plans because, even with them, they are still falling well short of their GHG emissions targets.

According to government projections, emissions will virtually flatline after 2030.

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As I have commented before, we have already picked most of the low hanging fruit, mainly phasing out coal.

Emissions in the base year of 1990 were 799 MtCO2e. Last year this had been cut by 45 % to 437 MtCO2e.

By 2030, emissions are projected at 45% of 1990 levels. However, this falls short of the Fifth Carbon Budget for the 2028-32 period, which by law mandates a reduction to 43%.

The target for 2035 is likely to demand a cut of at least 60%, given the need to reach 80% by 2050. Yet these new projections only reduce emissions by 56% by 2035.

Put simply, if the government had not put more renewables and less gas into the mix, we would be even further short of decarbonisation targets.

Meanwhile, while the UK’s energy future heads closer to the rocks, all the government can suggest is that future innovation might come along to save us.

 

 

Correction

Please note that “Given that new development of solar and offshore “, has been corrected to “solar and onshore”

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26 Comments
  1. Joe Public permalink
    January 11, 2018 7:13 pm

    “…. dispatchable capacity will be only 43 GW, plus 20 GW from interconnectors.

    Of course, when we need extra distpatchable power, those countries at the other end of the interconnectors won’t. Obviously.

  2. January 11, 2018 7:18 pm

    The bureaucrats who produce this nonsense appear to be on release from the asylum. Unfortunately the government remains stupid enough to believe in all this green crap.

    • keith permalink
      January 12, 2018 9:20 am

      Of course they do when we have that idiot woman Perry as Climate Change Minister. I’m still trying to work out how we will have enough energy for all the EV’s they want us to change to let along changing all gas central heating to electric. The lunatics are definitely in charge of the asylum.

      • Rowland H permalink
        January 12, 2018 12:12 pm

        Poor Mrs Perry, my MP, got quite shirty with me the other day after I had sent her a very robust and forceful email, not least a number of previous ones, asking very straightforward questions which she was unable to answer. Eg where will a large chunk of power come from after all the coal-fired stations are gone when the wind isn’t blowing! Or – what difference will it make to the climate by massively reducing our emissions from this tiny little island of ours? Answer, of course, b***** all!

        Keep chipping away at your MP in the same manner.

    • Vanessa permalink
      January 12, 2018 12:49 pm

      They run the asylum !

  3. Jack Broughton permalink
    January 11, 2018 7:51 pm

    The economics of energy supply have a long history of not behaving well. We will be totally dependent upon Europe for security of supply, prices will be at their mercy too. Expect rolling power cuts and expensive power to become the norm if these oafs continue on the planned trajectory. Of course, we can forget most manufacturing as power becomes more expensive and less reliable: virtual reality here we come!

    I heard on the news today that NY are going to sue the US government for the effects of climate change: this will be a marvellous chance to raise the issue away from the vested interests who control all meja outlets at present and prevent debate. Bring it on.

    • January 12, 2018 1:46 pm

      At this point it is a close race for who is more insane: the New York Governor Andfew Cuomo or New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Together, they have basically made NY unlivable. Cuomo has shut down fracking and de Blasio is in search of a cogent thought and unable to come up with one.

      • Jack Broughton permalink
        January 12, 2018 6:54 pm

        We could send you a few hundred people of this quality…..

  4. Stuart Brown permalink
    January 11, 2018 8:00 pm

    @JP, quite! Right now on Gridwatch 88% of our electricity is coming from coal, gas and nuclear. As I look at that graph all 3 are heading south after 2022, gas most of all. And the French are going to save us. Oui, vraiment, mes amis!

  5. Coeur de Lion permalink
    January 11, 2018 9:43 pm

    When the penny drops that CO2 doesn’t matter it’s going to be JOLLY EMBARASSING!

  6. A C Osborn permalink
    January 11, 2018 10:26 pm

    Obviously none of these people have looked at Grid Watch.
    They live an an alternate universe.

  7. Chilli permalink
    January 11, 2018 10:39 pm

    Reading the BEIS document – most of it is totally batsh1t crazy – the uncertainty analysis completely fails to account for the effects of dramatic policy changes eg. suppose the reliance on intermittent wind and solar leads to a series of rolling blackouts – imagine how fast policy would change in response to the public uproar. You only need to look at the effect of Miliband’s energy price-freeze promise to see how fast cross-party agreement on ever rising energy prices can change (albeit Miliband’s gambit was made irrelevant by the sudden fall in fossil fuel prices engineered by the Saudis in response to the US shale gas revolution).

  8. mikewaite permalink
    January 11, 2018 10:46 pm

    I try to avoid having to watch the quiz shows that the BBC is addicted to, but recently found myself watching , in stunned disbelief, an episode of Celebrity University Challenge with panelists from Brunel and Reading ( 2 of the best universities). They were drawn from the fields of politics, the BBC itself and public organisations , and in the 30 – 40 age range.
    In short they are the people who run the country or advise the ministers or preach to us from the BBC and NGOs. And they were appallingly , embarrassingly , ignorant . Most could not identify the provinces of Canada on a map of that country.
    How can such people analyse difficult technical problems without falling for the meaningless populist propoganda pushed out daily by the likes of the Guardian , the Grantham Institute and the BBC?
    With our country in their hands we face a bleak future.

    • Athelstan permalink
      January 12, 2018 1:23 am

      Ignorance all blissed out, is the new post modern normal.

    • dave permalink
      January 12, 2018 7:49 am

      Well, Reading made the final (!) – where they scored nul points (!!). Paxman did not hide his feelings.

      This whole ‘plan’ for the UK’s energy future reminds me of Mark Twain’s advice on how to make money in the stock market:

      “You buy a stock.
      When it has gone up, you sell it.
      If it doesn’t go up – you don’t buy it in the first place.”

    • January 12, 2018 9:31 am

      mike waite:

      Back in 1968 we withdrew 3 of our children from the state educational system; appalled at the changes taking place.
      A colleague of mine remarked: “ Well it’s OK for your lot; but what of those left behind? They will be running the country in 40 years time”.

      How true!!!

  9. catweazle666 permalink
    January 12, 2018 12:57 am

    There are two and only two concepts it is necessary to comprehend so as to be as informed as is necessary on electrical energy supply.

    They are BASE LOAD and DISPATCHABLE.

    Someone needs to inform our lords and masters of the implications of those two concepts, as they are clearly entirely unaware of them at the moment.

  10. Athelstan permalink
    January 12, 2018 1:05 am

    “1) The projections also assume that there will be 13 GW of new build nuclear by 2035.”

    Talk about wishful thinking, here’s what I think…………..

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha bloody ha, ha.

    Meanwhile, Germany, Japan, USA – soon – the world builds, installs NEW coal fired generation……………..in the same moment as Britain in terms of energy supply and economically speaking – cuts its own throat…………………………………… and all for what – just to please the SJWs and green NGOs, Caroline Lucas and Mother maybot/Corbyns mob?

  11. Vanessa permalink
    January 12, 2018 12:47 pm

    Most Scientists seem to think now that we are going into a “little ice age”, perhaps for 30 years. With the windmills iced up and solar panels covered in feet of snow – WHAT THEN? Do we have anything to back up these stupid windmills and panels other than diesel.

    There will be no-one left who is trained to mine our coal and the nuclear they keep promising do not even work. The technology for Hinckley Point is the same the French and Finnish have which has NEVER worked – Yet! God help us – bring in the wood to burn !!

    CO2 is measured in parts per million (0.04% in the atmosphere worldwide) how is something in such minute quantities so able to control our climate???

    • Athelstan permalink
      January 12, 2018 5:01 pm

      CO₂ at ~ 391 ppm or .0039% and of that, the puny effort man is reckoned to input ~ 5% and equal approx at 20 ppm.

      “how is something in such minute quantities so able to control our climate???”

      Simple answer – It (CO₂) doesn’t in any shape or form ‘control’ our climate.

      The Sun controls the earth’s climate all else is incidental, among various factors, the other major ‘dynamics’ of the atmosphere is H₂O in all its varied states. The power – irradiance of the Sun and in tandem with the oceans, axial tilt, coriolis, aeolian effects – they are the modulators and always: the Sun as driver.

      NB, something the greens, political whack jobs, priestesses of the great myth are ALSO not so forthright about: the Geological record accounts that CO₂ rises as a factor of Temperature increase – not the other way around.

  12. John, UK permalink
    January 12, 2018 1:12 pm

    We know the powers that be are scientifically illiterate and technologically challenged but I would have thought even they might have been aware of blue-green colour blindness (see Fig 5.1. above)

  13. Steve Borodin permalink
    January 12, 2018 1:36 pm

    How do we measure water vapour emissions? Those are the only ones that matter. By the way, is water a polutant?

  14. Douglas Brodie permalink
    January 12, 2018 6:57 pm

    It’s good news actually as this projected energy mix is so obviously delusional and infeasible, like all their 80% decarbonisation plans. They will not be able to ignore engineering reality much longer. However it may still take a while for the penny to drop with our politicians because they have been living in a groupthink bubble of climate and energy fantasy and self-delusion for so long that the dawning realisation that they have embarked on a fool’s mission will be a difficult one to comes to terms with.

    • catweazle666 permalink
      January 12, 2018 10:42 pm

      The cat is out of the bag, first the Americans and now the Germans are catching on.

      We’ll catch up sooner or later, hopefully sooner.

      But I’m not holding my breath.

  15. January 13, 2018 9:40 am

    ‘with increased imports (via interconnectors) until new nuclear capacity reduces the need for this in the 2030s.’

    They must be hoping that the countries that will be supplying us – if they have power to spare – until the 2030s will suddenly find they need us to supply them, otherwise those interconnectors are going to be a very expensive short-term investment.

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