Britain will remain dependent on gas for years, warns National Grid

Britain will be forced to rely on natural gas for years to come, in a blow to Sir Keir Starmer’s green energy ambitions, National Grid has said. Demand for gas is now expected to be between 642 and 724 terawatt hours in 2030, according to the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO). That is at least a fifth higher than the previous minimum and at the top end of what was predicted just a year ago. The minimum predicted demand for gas in 2035 has also shifted upwards, from 331 terawatt hours to at least 433 terawatt hours. Today, the country consumes the annual equivalent of 872 terawatt hours in natural gas. Under three potential “pathways” to net zero carbon emissions in 2050, the ESO also predicts Britain will keep burning “unabated” gas for power – that is, without any form of mitigation such as carbon capture – until at least 2036. Even after power sources such as wind and solar are generating the lion’s share of electricity, it will still be necessary to keep some gas-fired capacity in reserve to ensure the lights stay on, the ESO added. The report did not give reasons for the higher expected gas...

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