The big ticket big energy item in Boris Johnson’s big new ten point power plan is an installed capacity target of 40 gigawatts of offshore wind in the UK by the year 2030. Only a few weeks prior, the UK government released its 2019 ‘projections’ report, similar to Australia’s projections, that projects the country’s current climate policies forward into the future.
Annex J in their report details the power grid’s mix into the future, and this pre-ten-point-plan report shows renewables climbing to around 56% of total generation by 2040 (and in a scenario where all assumptions remain the same but fossil fuel prices increase, that’s more like 62%).
It’s an important and very relevant factoid, because the United Kingdom is frequently cited as an example of why gas is “needed” in a clean energy transition – something which obscures the fact that though its capacity presence may be helpful, total generation decreases significantly over time, and hence, emissions. Once these projections are updated to include the offshore wind target, gas’ future is likely to drop further.