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Net Zero power by 2035: could the UK accelerate decarbonisation of its power system?

This report presents our analysis of the latest announcement by the country’s largest utilities urging Boris Johnson to match US president-elect Joe Biden’s clean energy ambitions and set a target to slash emissions from Britain’s power system to net zero by 2035.

  • The UK has been at the forefront of global decarbonisation efforts, and the latest announcement by the country’s largest utilities will put the UK’s unabating stance towards decarbonisation to the test once again
  • Meeting a 2035 Net Zero target in the power sector will be a significant challenge, and one that is likely surmountable only by significant policy and regulatory support
  • Pathways to achieve this target would require over £150bn of capital outlay over the next fifteen years in the power sector alone, against a backdrop of declining power prices due to the growth of low marginal cost renewables
  • Additionally, a strong supply chain will have to develop to support the rapid deployment of low carbon technologies, many of which are unproven and in the nascent stage of deployment
  • Network reinforcements will have to be made as the growth of renewables could threaten system security by lowering inertia below NGESO’s optimal band

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