The role that renewable energy can play in filling the looming gap in generation capacity has been highlighted by EnergyUK. 

The trade body’s comments came in response to a report from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, which warned the UK faces a supply gap of up to 55% in the next 10 years. 

Filling the gap with combined-cycle gas-fired power stations was “unrealistic” because 30 plants would have to be built within 10 years, the report said. 

Instead, the UK would need to rely on interconnectors to import electricity from Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, the engineering body said. 

Multiple technologies 

Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of Energy UK, said: “We certainly need to see significant investment in thermal plant very quickly if we are to avoid a capacity gap in coming years, but we must also look at the value that renewables are already adding and will increasingly add in the future. 

“In other words, we need a policy framework that looks at the whole system, encourages innovation across different technologies, not focusing on single streams, and supports harnessing multiple technologies to deliver an affordable low carbon electricity supply.” 

James Court, Head of Policy and External Affairs at the Renewable Energy Association, added: “This crisis is the clear product of a lack of vision in energy policy. Technologies are here now that can supply this country’s power needs in a low-carbon, low cost way and can be rapidly deployed, including solar photo-voltaic, wind, and energy storage.” 

Read EnergyUK's reaction