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News 10 July 2023

Our response to the National Grid ESO’s Future Energy Scenarios report

The National Grid Energy System Operator (ESO) has today published its Future Energy Scenarios 2023 report.

Each of the report’s four pathways examine how Great Britain’s energy system might be decarbonised by 2050.

For example, one scenario the report looks at is called ‘leading the way’ and this is where the net zero target is met by 2046. Another scenario is described as ‘falling short’, and this considers GB missing the legally binding 2050 net zero target. 

The 2023 Future Energy Scenarios report highlights one key theme – that if we’re going to take net zero seriously, then action must be taken now.  

Commenting on the report, Stew Horne, head of policy at Energy Saving Trust, said:  

“Today’s recommendations from National Grid ESO are clearly defined calls to action for the UK Government to enable net zero and deliver a clean, secure and fair electricity system by 2035.  

“Key recommendations focusing on the decarbonisation of heat, consumer engagement, flexibility, and investment in integrating renewable energy sources into the grid, once again back up our repeated asks. 

“Crucially, alongside enabling renewables and storage technology, people must be actively engaged with the energy system and incentivised to use energy more flexibly. The success of the Demand Flexibility Service last winter shows that people are willing to change their everyday behaviour to reduce their own energy demand, in turn helping to deliver flexibility in energy demand on a large scale.   

“But this must be sustained. As we’ve highlighted in our new research for the Climate Change Committee with Green Alliance, behaviour change campaigns and the provision of impartial advice seen around the world are empowering people to understand how to best manage their energy use and insulate their homes. They are proving successful in reducing energy demand.  

“While the solutions outlined in the scenarios today raise questions over who pays, when, and how to ensure it’s fair for all, we do know that a clear, long-term plan is needed to create certainty for industry and consumers to enable the net zero transition.  There are still opportunities for the UK Government to provide such clarity this year, not least in its Autumn Statement. 

“The Future Energy Scenarios show that decarbonising energy is possible by 2050, but only if we act now.”  

Last updated: 10 July 2023