10 things to know about Future Energy Scenarios 2015

Enjoy a whistle stop tour of the Future Energy Scenarios (FES) 2015 with our handy 10-point guide.

  1. The four scenarios for 2015 explore what the future of energy might look like through to 2050. The scenarios — Consumer Power, Gone Green, Slow Progression and No Progression — are based on the energy trilemma and describe different but credible pathways for the future.
  2. To develop the FES we engaged with a total of 233 organisations over the past 12 months, spanning consumers, supply chain, the energy industry, customers, policy makers and community groups among others. These stakeholders played a fundamental role in developing the scenarios.
  3. Great Britain remains a net importer of electricity in three of our four scenarios with Gone Green being the only scenario showing exports by the mid-2030s.
  4. There is major variation between the scenarios in terms of gas supply sources. Under Consumer Power GB shale gas production would reach 32 billion cubic metres per year by 2030. In contrast, a Slow Progression world would see us 90% dependent on imported gas by 2035.
  5. One of the key themes to emerge from the stakeholder engagement process is operability challenges. In our Consumer Power scenario, by 2020 demand on the transmission system could be as low at 16.7GW on some days due to the output from low carbon generation. These changes, without action from innovative technological solutions, will lead to system balancing challenges.
  6. Electricity margins remain narrow but manageable and longer -term security of supply improves as a result of the Capacity Market, which is shown in all four scenarios from 2018/19.
  7. The Gone Green scenario sees a high level of green ambition, so that by 2020 we would experience 10GW of additional installed wind generation, more than 900,000 heat pumps in place and 27 million smart meters installed. It is the only scenario to achieve all renewable and carbon targets on time.
  8. Lower economic growth puts the brakes on progress towards environmental targets in the Slow Progression scenario. From electricity, interconnectors provide 8.4GW by 2020, while 9GW of wind generation is installed — a year behind Gone Green.
  9. In a No Progression world security of supply at the lowest cost is the primary consideration. Gas is the dominant fuel source for generation making up 35% of installed capacity in 2020 and it takes until 2040 for residential houses to reach the Zero Carbon Homes target for energy efficiency.
  10. Consumerism and quality of life drive decision-making in the Consumer Power scenario. In this world we see 120,000 micro combined heat and power (CHP) units installed in homes in 2020 and 100 shale sites are developed by 2030.