The Energy Technologies Institute’s Chief Executive Dr David Clarke will give evidence to the Energy and Climate Change Committee as part of its inquiry into low carbon network infrastructure on Tuesday morning (26 January 2016).
The ETI submitted written evidence to the inquiry last November.
In its submission the ETI said the future of the UK’s electricity infrastructure should not be considered in isolation but needs to be viewed as part of an energy systems wide approach that examines heat, power, transport and the infrastructure that links them.
Adapting the country’s electricity infrastructure will play a key role in enabling the UK to implement an affordable transition to a low carbon energy system by 2050. That transition will involve the development, commercialisation and integration of a portfolio of technologies and solutions that are already known, but underdeveloped.
Critical, long-term decisions must be made about the design of the UK future energy system by 2025 to avoid wasting investment and ensure that 2050 UK climate change targets remain achievable. A period of considered planning, technology evaluation and demonstration is required ahead of these decisions.
The ETI’s response was based on scenarios it has developed for a UK low carbon energy system transition published last year which illustrate this whole energy system perspective in its report ‘Options Choices Actions: UK scenarios for a low carbon energy system transition’.
These scenarios envisage:
• Greater flexible interaction between electricity and a range of other energy vectors for power, heat and transport to operate and balance an integrated system of infrastructure networks (e.g. interacting heat and power networks, transport fuelling available from both electricity and liquid fuels).
• The creation of new energy network infrastructures at varying scales (e.g. new local and City-scale heat networks, hydrogen storage and distribution infrastructure, CO2 transport and storage infrastructure).
• Substantial investment in new energy generation, conversion and storage facilities (e.g. new nuclear plants, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) infrastructure, renewable electricity generation, gasification plants, biomass handling infrastructure, hydrogen storage etc.).
• Major shifts in the volume and patterns of usage of existing energy networks with substantial new demands on electricity transmission and distribution assets.
The submission also considered the limitations of today’s electricity infrastructure, the new engineering solutions required to overcome those limitations and the challenges that need to be overcome to develop a new low carbon network which is designed in a way that minimises consumers’ bills.
Click here for a copy of the ETI’s consultation response.
Click here for details of the committee’s inquiry into Low Carbon Network Infrastructure.