National Grid backs wind but coal still has a big role

Wind will account for 20% of the UK's energy use within the next decade according to the commercial director of the National Grid.

Alison Kay, speaking at the Power Summit 2011 in central London, revealed the National Grid is backing a huge surge in wind power.

Mrs Kay also said the National Grid will need around £20 billion of investment to create more transmission and cope with a raid transition to decarbonisation.

But, she also admitted 'something radical' would need to be done to the UK's energy market in order to cope with the intermittent nature of the renewable power.

She said: "At National Grid we believe the biggest change in renewable power will be a huge growth in wind generation.

"We believe wind power in the UK will rise to 20%, in some places up to 30 giga-watts of power by 2020."

However, fears linger over the long-term intermittent nature of wind power leading Mrs Kay to say coal would remain a key power source to 2050 and beyond.

She added: "Coal has got to part of the long term strategy, but Carbon Capture and Storage needs to be proved."

Luke Walsh


energy manager


Energy efficiency & low-carbon

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