Lack of confidence to invest in renewables sector main barrier to growth
The UK can achieve 100% renewables by 2050, if businesses are given the "confidence to invest" and a regional approach is taken, according to WWF.
Speaking at the Energy Solutions today (October 12) WWF head of energy policy Nick Molho, said that globally world energy demand could reduce by as much as 15% by 2050, while the UK has the capacity to achieve 100% renewables by 2050, provided investment is secured.
He said: "The real issue here is not a lack of capital, but confidence to invest in the renewable sector. The key question here is really about how we improve investment certainty, without which financing the transition to renewable energy is going to be very difficult."
In his speech, Mr Molho discussed WWF's Climate Solutions report, which provides an analysis of growth within the UK's renewables sector to give a picture of how renewable energy can meet demand. Key findings of the study show that wind, solar and hydropower is likely to be the main source of electricity in the UK, with biomass, wave and tidal also playing a role.
Mr Molho said: "The report shows that the potential for reducing energy demand is absolutely massive as we have enormous scope for energy reduction in the UK."
Meanwhile, he emphasised that a regional approach to upgrading electricity grids was needed in order to get the UK ready to increase its renewable electricity supplies (RES).
He said: "We need to be looking at energy grids regionally, not just nationally as our grids need to be well-connected regionally in order to benefit from RES. A more strategic approach also needs to be taken in how we transfer our grids."
In addition, Mr Molho said that "a clear sense" of the role of bioenergy is needed, but that its use should be minimised and "every other alternative used first" as for environmental reasons traditional bioenergy needs to be phased out.
He said: "We need to have a clear sense of how we are going to use it and prioritise to ensure we don't exceed a sustainable level of bioenergy."
Live from Energy Solutions EXPO 2011