Low-carbon electricity is cost-effective option for power industry investment, says UK Climate Committee

emissionsA low-carbon electricity supply is the most cost-effective way to meet the need for more generation in the 2020s given the UK’s climate change commitments, according to a new report published today by the Committee on Climate Change.

In its new report – Power sector scenarios for the fifth carbon budget – the Committee sets out a range of future options to reduce UK emissions from electricity in 2030.

Low-carbon options in the power sector are important to support emissions reduction in other sectors, such as transport and heating, as well as to reduce emissions from the power sector itself. 

The new power sector scenarios seek to balance issues of affordability, security of supply and decarbonisation. They indicate different ways, rather than one prescriptive path, through which this balance can be achieved consistent with UK climate change targets.

Power sector scenarios for the fifth carbon budget sets out new analysis the CCC will take into account when it provides its advice to Government on the fifth carbon budget on 26 November 2015.

A CCC spokesman said: “Several low-carbon sources of power are likely to be cost competitive with new gas-fired generation facing a carbon price during the 2020s.

“Mature options, like onshore wind and solar, are at that stage already. Less mature options, like carbon capture and storage (CCS) and offshore wind, will require continued support into the 2020s if they are to reach maturity.

“These both represent good value investments for a society committed to climate targets

The fifth carbon budget will set the maximum level of domestic emissions between 2028 and 2032 and marks the half-way point from the first carbon budget period (2008-2012) to the 2050 commitment to reduce UK emissions by at least 80% relative to 1990 levels.

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