Slow progress on building new energy generation capacity in the UK is putting targets on decarbonisation and energy security at risk.
A report by AtkinsRéalis predicts the UK must connect 15.5GW of new generating capacity each year to 2035 to meet system goals. However, just 4.5GW was connected to the national electricity grid in 2022.
It warns of the compound effect that will stem from continued shortfalls in build rate. If the UK achieves a 15% increase in build rate year-on-year, the peak build rate would be 25GW/year by 2035 . However, if the build rate increases by just 10%, the required peak build rate would jump to 40GW/year– the equivalent of 30 of the UK’s largest offshore wind farms in one year alone.
Sarah Long, Market Director for Net Zero Energy at AtkinsRéalis, said: “The scale of the challenge becomes greater each year: we must urgently shift from scenarios into delivery.
“The UK must maintain a laser-like focus on deployment and delivery of net zero generation and the energy infrastructure required to support it.”