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FES 2022–More Wishful Thinking

July 25, 2022

By Paul Homewood


Every year the National Grid publish their Future Energy Scenarios , FES, to convince everybody, not least themselves, that the UK can get to Net Zero in 2050 without any problems:

However this year’s edition is still as full of wishful thinking as ever.

Forget about 2050, even the figures for 2035 don’t stack up. Let’s focus on the Consumer Transformation scenario (CT), which is fairly middle of the road, and assumes widespread uptake of electric cars and heat pumps. The other three scenarios are not much different.

Below is the anticipated electricity mix:


By 2035, as you can see, wind and solar will account for 78% of electricity output. Dispatchable sources, including gas (with CCS), biomass and nuclear, will only supply 17%. Apparently we will have so much power, we will be exporting 88 TWh a year, assuming anybody actually wants it.

You can probably already sense that the grid simply won’t be stable with such a high load of intermittent renewables.

Electricity demand is set to rise rapidly, as fossil fuels are phased out. Under our CT scenario, peak demand will rise to 87 GW by 2035


As for the projected capacity, the National Grid dare not even show it on one page together. Their data however gives this:



Look very closely, and you will see that dispatchable capacity – nuclear, bio and gas – only provide 44.2 GW; and half of that is unabated gas, which will not be allowed much longer.

So where, pray, do they get the rest of that 87 GW will come from?

For a start, you should note that the peak demand quoted in FL-04 is ACS – they explain:



In other words, it is not “peak” at all. You would probably need to add at least 10%, to cover years of extreme demand. You will also need to build in a safety buffer, to allow for plant outages – it is normal to assume that only 85% of capacity will be available at any given time. And finally, you also need to allow for line losses.

All in all, to supply that 87 GW, you would need about 120 GW of firm capacity.

The projection assumes 109 GW of wind power and 47 GW of solar power. The latter is effectively worthless in mid-winter, when it can only supply about 2 GW at most on average. And as we know too well, wind power can plummet to well below 10% of its capacity for days and weeks on end.

Even if we assume that wind power can generate at 10% of its capacity during periods of cold anti-cyclonic weather, we will still be about 50 GW short.

What about interconnectors then? The plan allows for 18.8 GW, which still leaves us well short, even assuming the Europeans have any surplus power to sell.

The FES reckons that we can shuffle demand around during the day, with smart meters, vehicle-to-grid and demand response. But even assuming that demand can be perfectly smoothed each day, this will likely only cut peak demand by 10 GW, given that winter demand fluctuates by about 20 GW from peak to trough.

So what is the FES answer to this conundrum?




As already noted, they are totally dependent on getting full power from the interconnectors, which is itself a a suicidal policy. On top of that, they say they can get 67.6 GW from storage, V2G (vehicle to Grid) and DSR (demand supply response).

In terms of storage, they acknowledge that, on average, batteries will only store one hour’s worth of power – ie 28.9 GW = 28.9 GWh. And as I have pointed out, DSR might shift demand around within the day to help smooth peaks. but cannot solve the problem of days on end without wind power.

And, of course, exactly the same applies to V2G. Indeed, according to FES, even by 2050 we will still only be able to store 288 GWh, enough to supply 12 GW for a day, from all sources including V2G. None of this will be of any use when we are short of wind power for weeks on end.


There is only one conclusion that can be drawn from this truly frightening and childishly naive analysis – there will be electricity rationing in the not too distant future. No longer will we be able to rely on a secure, reliable energy supply.

And this all appears to be deliberate policy.

  1. HotScot permalink
    July 25, 2022 10:10 am

    I suppose it justifies their continued employment………

  2. Crowcatcher permalink
    July 25, 2022 10:18 am

    For “wishful thinking” read “bul***it”

  3. Robert Christopher permalink
    July 25, 2022 10:19 am

    “As an average it has a 50% chance of being exceeded in any given year.”


  4. Bob Schweizer permalink
    July 25, 2022 10:19 am

    …and, I’m just reading in this morning’s Telegraph that the Grid is being forced to make an emergency plea to Belgium ‘to keep Britain’s lights on…’. What a shambles.

  5. Andrew JOHNSON permalink
    July 25, 2022 10:38 am

    Better off reading “Billy’s Weekly Liar”

  6. Joe Public permalink
    July 25, 2022 10:50 am

    “There is only one conclusion that can be drawn from this truly frightening and childishly naive analysis – there will be electricity rationing in the not too distant future.”

    Time to reprogramme those Smart Meters to ration homes to peak demand. There’s no logical reason to permit the wealthy to simultaneously have ‘normal’ domestic use, then add the huge peaks caused by running long-duration high-demand heat pump and EV battery recharge load. Punitive Maximum-Demand charges for each billing-month based upon peak half-hour capacity demand plus a premium charge on all electricity consumed, must be implemented to ensure those making *excessive* use of grid infrastructure pay their fair share of costs.

    • GeoffB permalink
      July 25, 2022 11:22 am

      Good idea, kVA of maximum demand, that will kill the heat pump. We both know the FES is a glossy snowjob/whitewash to cover up the truth, Wind and Solar are not going to work, the problem is we are well down the road on the insanity of net zero and the U-turn is going to result in all the green loonies coming out on the streets, together with the average person believing all the green crap. By February 2023 after a severe cold winter with power shortages things will have to change. Here’s hoping.

  7. GeoffB permalink
    July 25, 2022 11:00 am

    I am an old retired graduate electrical engineer, I presume National Grid has many young graduate electrical engineers at the top of their game, it is just unbelievable that they believe that the FES plan is actually feasible. Here is another simple analysis of why it will not work…..Average daily home electricity consumption today is just under 10kWh (from OFGEM’s own figures used to calculate the price cap) Take the heat pump scenario in winter, 5kW of electricity will give 15kW of heat (maybe) that’s half the output of a typical gas boiler, so the heat pump has to run 24 hours a day, consuming 120kWh of electricity, add in 20kWh to get 60 miles on your electric vehicle and daily usage is 150kWh, some 15 times todays consumption. Now, our local low voltage distribution system relies on a high diversity factor, not everyone cooks, showers at the same time, yet the heat pump for 28 million homes needs to run continuously. At the moment there is no plan to upgrade the low voltage distribution system. ( Going to 415V three phase for domestic consumers is possible, increasing the voltage would need all homes to be substantially rewired as well). DSR is apparently the way forward, Demand Side Reduction using the smart meter, but this ensures that electricity will be rationed by price. It is totally unacceptable that this solution is even considered, the poor single mother on a prepayment meter will surely be the first to die.
    The outcome will be civil unrest, meters will be bypassed (I reckon I could do 5 a day), uncontrolled usage will trip out the local substations. (I have seen a plan to use the local sub station load to set the smart meter price). Tesla’s charging on the rich persons drive will be torched by the mobs. Electricity speakeasys will be set up on industrial estates to charge the electric cars of the poor people. A dystopian future is assured in the pursuit of net zero.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      July 25, 2022 5:20 pm

      A few house fires caused by candles and reopened chimneys burning anything combustible. Deaths by Cabon Monoxide by blocked or restricted chimneys and people using all kinds of desperate home heating solutions. Added to excess winter deaths in a coldsnap should create a lot of anger. Whether the Daily Mail and other rags divert attention from the real cause to the people not understanding the dangers.

      It’s been 60 years since we starting moving away from open fires, even longer since we gave up candles. Anyone under 50 is vulnerable to making a mistake because they don’t know what they are dealing with.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      July 25, 2022 10:07 pm

      “I presume National Grid has many young graduate electrical engineers at the top of their game,” Always dangerous to presume!
      “Join us a graduate
      Be part of solving one of the greatest problems we’ve ever faced – climate change.”
      Rather indicates their prime level of thinking.
      They will almost certainly be recruiting with “diversity” as their main entry qualification. A degree in “Energy Policy” is likely to be better regarded than an Electrical Engineering degree.
      The smart engineers will be head hunted by much better paying companies. These days NG will get the tail end of the draught pick.

  8. Jack Broughton permalink
    July 25, 2022 11:08 am

    A common problem with organisations that produce reports more than facts is that they generate lots of pretty pictures using fanciful spreadsheet models to cover-up their lack of real knowledge. I must congratulate you, yet again, on making some sense of the self-congratulatory and fantasy world of these FES documents: I lose interest in them in a few minutes. The important facts are lost among the claims about how well they are doing in managing the grid!!!

  9. Jack Broughton permalink
    July 25, 2022 11:23 am

    The CEGB had a responsibility to ensure minimum cost and secure power for the UK: there is now no body in place with this responsibility, the ministers involved will be long gone when the problems really hit hard. I had many battles with the old CEGB, but now appreciate that it fulfilled an important role and had both responsibility and accountability: both of which area absent now.

  10. Michael permalink
    July 25, 2022 11:40 am

    “And this all appears to be deliberate policy.”

    Yep! All part of the globalist plan to impoverish us and kill off us ‘worthless eaters’.

  11. Martin Brumby permalink
    July 25, 2022 12:12 pm

    Somebody (certainly very well paid) has devised this crap (knowing full well it IS crap) at the insistence of our Genius Beloved Leaders (and the “Opposition” who, as ever, just want sooner-faster-harder-crueller-longer) and their hand picked ‘experts’.

    There has to be a functioning judicial process (with non-partisan judges. I know, itself a major challenge), that will try blatant cases of Misconduct in Public Office and to ensure that appropriate punishment is meted out for impeached politicians.

    None of that has even a chance of happening (witness Neil Ferguson. Still lionised. I rest my case.)

    But unless there is at least a prospect that this might happen, there will be blood on the streets, certainly.

    The danger is, that it will almost certainly be our blood. Look how Jacinda Trudeau treated the Truckers. Factor that up by ten.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 25, 2022 2:18 pm

      I think Vladimir has shown us the way forward if all other political means have been exhausted all you are left with is war.

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        July 25, 2022 3:16 pm

        Torches and pitchforks outside the HoC and MP’s houses. Tends to focus the mind.

  12. Mick Wenlock permalink
    July 25, 2022 2:07 pm

    I think, charitably, that the problem is one of human nature. We are increasingly living in a “Government by fiat”. This is something that is spreading like a cancer throughout the west. In the minds of politicians it seems to have taken hold with particular virulence. The idea that one can simply say “this will be done” and the desired result will magically appear.

    We can see it best in this whole “Netzero” hogwash but it creeps into almost all Government thinking. The USA provides good examples too – the “War on Drugs” for example, has overseen a huge increase in drug abuse and the large scale legalization of marijuana!

    The example in this post, that somehow the people writing the report write in an expectation of some generation capacity suddenly appearing out of nowhere in the projected world of 2035.

    In the harsh real world of engineering however this kind of thinking results in slow motion disasters. A system that is not engineered to be robust will fail because demand will not follow the whims of diktat, but the customs of usage. If it gets cold people will turn up the heat, if it stays cold for an extended period the power drain will be enormous. Along with, of course the need to charge all the electrical vehicles that have been mandated and which will need to recharge during the coldest periods of the day – night time.

    I am (again charitably) confident that the people responsible for authoring this report know most of this. BUT they have been told that a report must be generated and so, fiat! It is done. There is a report. The writers can excuse themselves by reassuring each other that they will probably be retired by the time 2035 rolls around and the rationing is getting going.

    The desire of underlings to give leaders what they want killed productivity in the Soviet Union – the bosses made unattainable targets and the underlings wrote reports saying they had done when they had not. They did that not sabotage anything but to hang on to their jobs and their privileges. The top echelon saw that by and large they could utter and the peasants would deliver.

    Until they no long could and the edifice crumbled.

    Most of us on here, I believe, understand that engineering takes planning , money, expertise and time. A lot of time. If the desire is to have a stable and safe grid delivering power to the nation then decisions need to be made now to build either nuclear power stations or a large amount of coal or gas powered stations. I seem to recall that the best estimate for building a new power station is ten years. I am not sure exactly what the mathematics are but I do not think the UK has the capacity (in expertise and equipment) to build more than two Nuclear power stations in a decade and no-one seems to be working out what needs to be done, just more “FIAT! ” for the moment.

    The longer real planning does not get done and real work started the worse the fall is going to be.

    And as always it will be the lower echelons of society who will be paying the price.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      July 25, 2022 5:28 pm

      I my opinion Bojo was/is the epitome of the just saying it will done is all that’s required. I used to think it was Blair, but I don’t remember the sainted Tony running off and playing doctors and nurses or TopGun as often while the country fell apart as often; or making international agreements one week only to discover the next week that it was a total cockup

    • Vernon E permalink
      July 25, 2022 7:17 pm

      MW: You are ignoring the prime role player in all of this – the UN Agenda 30 for Sustatainability. Please, please, familiarise your self with it. It explains all of this.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      July 25, 2022 10:50 pm

      I fully agree with your comments but perhaps there is this cavalry

  13. catweazle666 permalink
    July 25, 2022 2:46 pm

    “By 2035, as you can see, wind and solar will account for 78% of electricity output.”

    Every last milliwatt of which will of course need to backed up by a milliwatt of real electricity…

  14. Harry Passfield permalink
    July 25, 2022 2:58 pm

    How can FES claim BECCS/V2G as part of the Grid’s supply when batteries are not energy generators but need supply from the Grid itself?

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      July 25, 2022 3:18 pm

      Indeed, the fallacy of we are switching to “electricity as a source of energy” nonsense.

      Its a carrier, like the water in your house.

  15. It doesn't add up... permalink
    July 25, 2022 3:58 pm

    I dug around their assumptions. They have selected 2013 data “as this is deemed to be a fairly average year with colder and milder spells” on which to base their projections for weather and renewables performance. That is not how you plan. You need to look at the corner solutions – years with poor renewables output like 2021, years with weather surprises like the Beast from the East in 2018, and times when there are massive surpluses of renewables that have to be curtailed or otherwise disposed of, how it operates over a multi-year span hour by hour.

    For me the key page is 190. The footnote reveals: Our FES scenarios do not model specific flexibility services and model an unconstrained network, as such these graphics are indicative only and do not directly align to FES modelling and the Data Workbook. So they are still living in cloud cuckoo land. But the casual logarithmic chart is the first sign I’ve seen that they might be having to recognise the need to provide 100TWh+ of storage for a viable (or is that unaffordable?) system.

    Scratching the surface I found this in their data workbook I found this alleged data for 2021:

    Selected technologies
    Generation type Capacity (GW) Load factor Generation (TWh)
    Biomass 4.05 43.3% 15.36
    BECCS 0.00 0.0% 0.00
    Gas CCUS 0.00 0.0% 0.00
    Gas 34.85 15.5% 47.45
    Hydrogen 0.00 0.0% 0.00
    Nuclear 7.64 76.2% 50.96
    Offshore Wind 13.06 46.3% 52.99
    Onshore Wind 13.31 39.0% 45.46
    Solar 13.24 11.9% 13.79

    Which bears no relation to the actual 2021 numbers as revealed e.g. in Energy Trends, which shows 108.77TWh of gas and just 35.44TWh of offshore wind for example. Fills you with confidence if they twist history more than the Met Office does the weather record.

  16. Mikehig permalink
    July 28, 2022 11:02 am

    Even if there is sufficient generation capacity (some of the time), there are further problems looming:
    This is happening before adoption of heat pumps and EVs increases household demand many times over, per Geoff B’s comment above.

  17. July 28, 2022 11:13 am

    Wow – Who could have seen this coming?
    We did – in 2002, and in more detail in 2013. Ref.

    British Undersecretary for Energy and Climate Change, 31Oct2013
    By Allan MacRae, B.A.Sc.(Eng.), M.Eng.
    So here is my real concern:
    IF the Sun does indeed drive temperature, as I suspect, Baroness Verma, then you and your
    colleagues on both sides of the House may have brewed the perfect storm.
    You are claiming that global cooling will NOT happen, AND you have crippled your energy
    systems with excessive reliance on ineffective grid-connected “green energy” schemes.
    I suggest that global cooling probably WILL happen within the next decade or sooner, and Britain will get colder.
    I also suggest that the IPCC and the Met Office have NO track record of successful
    prediction (or “projection”) of global temperature and thus have no scientific
    I suggest that Winter deaths will increase in the UK as cooling progresses.
    I suggest that Excess Winter Mortality, the British rate of which is about double the
    rate in the Scandinavian countries, should provide an estimate of this
    unfolding tragedy.

    By Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae September 4, 2015
    Cold weather kills. Throughout history and in modern times, many more people succumb to cold exposure than to hot weather, as evidenced in a wide range of cold and warm climates.
    Evidence is provided from a study of 74 million deaths in thirteen cold and warm countries including Thailand and Brazil, and studies of the United Kingdom, Europe, the USA, Australia and Canada.
    Contrary to popular belief, Earth is colder-than-optimum for human survival. A warmer world, such as was experienced during the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period, is expected to lower winter deaths and a colder world like the Little Ice Age will increase winter mortality, absent adaptive measures. These conclusions have been known for many decades, based on national mortality statistics.

    A new Lancet study by Gasparrini et al (July 2022) ominously reports that from 2000 to 2019 in England and Wales there were an average of 791 heat-related excess deaths and 60,753 cold-related excess deaths each year. That’s an excess death ratio of about 85 to 1 for cold temperatures. That’s an excess death ratio of about 85 to 1 for cold temperatures.

    We’ve been watching this systematic culling of the elderly unfold for years, especially in Britain and Germany as green-energy schemes are promoted by the usual suspects. Depopulation! First it was the global warming Climate-and-Energy scam, and then it was the Covid-19 Lockdowns-and-Vaccines scam.

    Some may say that my above “Depopulation” accusation above is unfair or excessive.
    Some may say that the Ruling Classes of Europe are not deliberately trying to cull the elderly through their Climate-and-Covid scams, rather they are just so deeply inbred that this “error” is an unfortunate side-effect of that intellectual deficiency.

    The counter-arguments are:
    · The Global Warming-and-Green-Energy narrative is a fifty-year-old fraud, which we published was false nonsense in 2002. Others including the eminent Richard Lindzen at MIT were publicly doubting the global warming falsehoods in the 1990’s. The warmist arguments were never credible, not even remotely so – they were always scary fictions with no basis in science.
    · Uncommon sense says that no rational individual or group could be this wrong, this incredibly obtuse, for this long – the warmists knew they were lying from the start. They promoted their scary CAGW narrative for financial and political gain – “wolves stampeding the sheep”.

    The big cull of the elderly of Europe will happen this winter – we predicted it in 2002 and 2013 – it was all terribly costly – in dollars and lives – and all entirely avoidable – a willful squandering of the lives of innocents. Crimes against humanity.


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