Future Energy Scenarios
WRITTEN BY Local Partnerships
POSTED ON 28th August 2020
The Future Energy Scenarios (FES) are released by the National Grid Electricity System Operator on an annual basis. They are carefully conceived scenarios that set out four different energy usage descriptions of the future. Each scenario considers how much energy we might need and where it could come from.
There is a huge amount of well-presented information in the FES that sets a great context for how things could change. A brief and compelling summary is available to download – “FES in 5” – which summarises the key messages from the report. All documents can be accessed here: FES 2020 documents | National Grid ESO
Three of the report’s scenarios meet our legally-binding target of net-zero carbon by 2050. That date may currently seem a long way off, but in energy investment terms it is just around the corner and the journey must begin now. A key conclusion from the report is the requirement for immediate action if we are to reach our net-zero target, across all key technologies and policy areas, and full engagement across society and end consumers.
Part of the challenge is that the energy system alone cannot deliver decarbonisation. It exists to serve consumers and its evolution will reflect their behavioural changes over the next 30 years. The report considers the impact of societal change as well as the speed of decarbonisation. One scenario focuses on the system transformation, another focuses on consumer transformation and the third combines the two together, aptly titled “leading the way”.
The scenarios provide a vast array of information on various topics, ranging from the nature of electricity generation to network storage and hydrogen. All scenarios require a huge increase in deployment of hydrogen, with associated carbon capture and storage infrastructure. Hydrogen would be used to decarbonise industry, heat, transport and power generation to varying degrees under different scenarios.
The report also looks at the speed at which energy efficiency measures would need to be deployed in existing buildings. At Local Partnerships we are proud to offer support to local and combined authorities wishing to implement energy efficiency measures on their existing buildings. Through the Re:fit framework we help councils with the development and delivery of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, enabling change to be delivered at scale and pace, and contributing to carbon emissions reduction. For further information please visit our website or contact Rachel.Toresen-Owuor@localpartnerships.gov.uk