In light of the report by The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, which states plans to close coal-fired plants by 2025 could result in demand outstripping supply by up to 40%, Tanuja Randery, president UK & Ireland at Schneider Electric said: “The energy conundrum will only be cracked when we adopt a smarter approach to the way we generate, consume and store energy. Closing coal fired power stations is a step in the right direction if we are to meet our carbon reduction targets. But, doing so without clear plans for more sustainable alternatives will not address the issues of energy demand effectively.
“Investment in renewable energy and further development in energy storage must become a priority, if we are to avoid energy shortages. Just 9.5% of the UK’s electricity was generated by on and offshore wind in 2014, however much more green energy production is possible.
“The government needs to take a robust approach to ensure that the lights stay on while we decarbonise. It needs to consider the UK’s provisioning of reserve capacity, combined with active network management and integrating renewables into the grid. This multi-faceted approach must not ignore the ‘fifth fuel’ – energy efficiency.
“In the long term, there must be a continued focus on creating a system that uses less energy and gains more power from renewable sources.”