• Study estimates UK needs for renewables, storage, nuclear, and gas-fired power generation to meet 2050 net-zero target

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Analysis by consulting firm Aurora Energy Research has estimated the additional power generation capacity the UK will need if it is to meet its goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Renewable energy capacity will need to rise from the current ~33 GW to around 140 GW by 2050, and be supported by 30 GW of short-duration energy storage, 20 GW of new nuclear capacity, and 3 GW of carbon capture and storage installations (seemingly at gas-fired plants). With so much renewable capacity, the kingdom would be producing 185 TWh of excess electricity per year, which could be used to produce hydrogen from electrolysis, helping to provide longer-term energy storage for periods of low production from the renewables. This would be in spite of having the short-term storage capacity indicated, pointing to the difficulty in managing the supply fluctuations that large amounts of intermittent generation capacity produce. Still, creating hydrogen or some other useful by-product from the excess power may make it quite a useful problem to have.