Government identifies UK green growth potential

The UK Government has published three detailed reports that aim to highlight the potential of Electricity Networks and Storage (EN&S), Marine Energy and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies.

The Technology Innovation Needs Assessments (TINAs) analysis was undertaken by the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG), which consists of DECC, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Carbon Trust, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI),the Scottish Government and a number of other high profile organisations concerned with low carbon innovation.

The paper reveals that innovation throughout the CCS technology chain could provide the UK with savings of up to £45 billion by 2050. Furthermore, the development of CCS technology could help create a UK industry that could be worth between £3-16 billion.

The report also extols the potential of Marine Energy to significantly contribute to the UK’s energy mix. TINAs predicts that the cost of marine-generated electricity will drop to £100/MWh by 2025, saving the energy system approximately £3-8 billion – contributing an estimated £1-4 billion to GDP up to 2050.

The report identifies electricity networks and storage (EN&S) as an integral facet of a low-carbon grid. Advanced EN&S technologies have the ability to address the new demands that a low-carbon grid would put on the electricity system. Importantly, the paper states that EN&S would support the grid more cost-effectively than would be possible through traditional methods of grid reinforcement and fossil-fuel powered system balancing capacity.  Developing a strong EN&S capability could contribute as much as £34 billion to GDP to 2050, saving £14 billion in the process.

Commenting on the reports, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Innovation is key to the growth of the low carbon economy here in the UK. This new analysis will help us better understand the value of these technologies to our growing green economy as well as the barriers to commercialisation, helping us put our available investment in the right place to spur on further innovation.”