Renewable & Low Carbon Energy
The inexorable growth of world population and global GDP continues to push world energy demand ever higher and, in spite of efforts to the contrary, this trend is likely to continue in the coming decades. According to IEA reports¹, world energy consumption increased by over almost 80% percent between 1973 and 2009 and is set to rise by a further third between 2010 and 2035. In response, governments around the world have set ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy targets and are legislating in support of this. In Europe, EU legislation requires that 20% of energy consumed must be provided by renewable sources by 2020.
In addition to the challenges of climate change, the UK energy sector needs to address an impending energy supply gap which has arisen due a number of factors. Seventeen percent of the UK's electricity is supplied by nuclear power² and with the exception of Sizewell B, the aging reactor fleet is due to be decommissioned by 2023. The EU Large Combustion Plant Directive will also require a number of coal power station closures by 2015. Added to this, North Sea oil and gas reserves have now peaked and are in decline. Whilst such a dramatic loss of capacity is a challenge to the UK economy, it does present a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in the next generation of low carbon technologies.
"£450Bn of investment will be required by 2025 in order to meet the UK's energy supply and conservation challenge"
A detailed analysis in 2010 by Ernst & Young³ , concluded that some £450Bn of investment will required by 2025 in order to meet the UK's energy supply and conservation challenge. Much of this investment is likely to be in the area of smart grids, nuclear power and renewable energy. Delivering such a transformation will require an unprecedented growth in the energy sector and the associated financial support.
Whilst the UK's renewable energy policy continues to evolve, it is now clear that offshore and onshore wind, biomass and solar power will all play an important part in the UK's future energy mix. Despite a turbulent start, Government incentive schemes have driven the rapid growth of UK renewable energy sector. Horizon Power and Energy is part of this growth and is able to undertake feasibility studies, due diligence work or project implementation for solar PV, solar thermal, onshore wind, biomass and small hydro projects. Our work may or may involve a simple feasibility study or extend to the full development of renewable energy schemes whilst working with development partners and debt and equity providers.
1 : International Energy Agency : Key World Energy Statistics 2010 & World Energy Outlook 2010 New Policies Scenario
2: DECC June 2012 - Fuel Mix Disclosure Tables
3: Ernst & Young - Securing the UK’s energy future - Meeting the finance challenge - Feb 2009