Great Britain’s energy landscape is changing rapidly, so what might it look like by 2035 or 2050? National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios (FES) 2015 explore credible pathways for the future based on feedback from stakeholders right across the energy sector. So, what did stakeholders make of this year’s FES event, and what do they think of the overall value of the scenarios themselves?
The launch of the Future Energy Scenarios (FES) 2015 gave stakeholders from across the energy sector the chance to meet, share experiences and discuss some of the most pressing issues facing the industry. The four scenarios discussed were:
Gas is the primary fuel in this scenario because it’s relatively cheap and although gas prices are low, Government support leads to high investment in shale gas production.
Gone Green is a world of high prosperity and high levels of green ambition across the whole economy
Slow Progression is a scenario in which we are all striving towards a Gone Green world, but slower economic growth hinders the drive to meet environmental targets – they are hit eventually, albeit later than planned.
Life in a No Progression world is characterised by low economic growth, inconsistent political signals and a lack of focus on environmental policies.
So what did those involved in FES 2015 take away from this event?
Dagoberto Cedillos: Student, Imperial College London
“I am currently studying an MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures and this event is an ideal place to gain a wider understanding of the scenarios themselves and also the modelling behind them. I’ve found it really useful in that respect.
“My thesis is looking at the decarbonisation investment strategy for a chain of supermarkets. These different energy scenarios are projections that are useful when defining a strategy to achieve carbon reduction targets.”
Graham Oakes, Upside Energy
“Our business is all about opening up the demand side market to households and small businesses by paying them to not use energy at peak times. We do this by co-ordinating energy stored in the batteries they already own.
“This is my first time here and I’ve found it very interesting to hear different viewpoints on the scenarios that I need to plan my business around. In particular, I’m interested in the System Operability Framework. Upside Energy exists because of the challenges it addresses.
“I think that to date there has been a lot of focus on how industrial and commercial consumers can support demand side response, but there is less realisation about the important role that domestic customers could play in future.”
Thipnatee Sansawatt, Scottish Power Energy Networks
“My role is system design engineer and so for me the Future Energy Scenarios offer a really useful perspective into what’s happening more widely across the industry. Within Energy Networks we deal every day with actual network constraints and I wonder whether the scenarios could take into account this ‘real world’ situation more effectively.
“I’m particularly interested in the panel session and the expo part of the event because they give a really good opportunity to listen to a range of different viewpoints on relevant issues. I’d also like to see more topics relating to Active Network Management activities and trends covered at the event as these would enable us not only to understand the actual challenges but also to realise the ability that these technologies can deliver and perhaps could assist network design and operation more effectively.”
Ralph Buechner, Noveus Energy
“We are an energy consultancy advising customers in the industrial and commercial sector on energy procurement, energy demand management and demand side response. Keeping in touch with what is happening in the market is important, which is one of the main reasons for attending the FES event.
“We need to understand the trends, the price drivers and the opportunities for our clients to know how and when to buy energy. The forward-looking nature of the scenarios is very useful and I think today’s event has been spot on.”
Frank Gordon, Renewable Energy Association
“National Grid is in a unique position to look at the issues facing the energy sector in the round and I think the value of the Future Energy Scenarios is to provide that coherent, overarching picture.
“From my perspective, I am interested to understand more about how the scenarios chart the deployment of renewable generation by 2020 and 2035 and what might have an impact on the success of this deployment.
“I’d perhaps like to see a little more granularity on individual renewables within the scenarios and the subject of energy storage is only dealt with quite briefly – we see this as crucial for the future and that it could play a really significant role.”
For an overview of what FES is and more about the four scenarios click here