The UK's energy regulator thinks we should lay off congratulating ourselves about renewables, as it foresees a four-fold increase in offshore electricity generation coming by 2030 – a move that's essential as it also imagines 10 million electric cars will be dangling off charge points by then too.
This hard sci-fi vision is part of the regulator's Decarbonisation Action Plan, a bit of bluesky executive thinking that pretends very hard that the government's ambition of being a net-zero carbon country by 2050 is likely to happen. The key component is the development of an offshore grid to handle all the action going on out at Dogger and other coastal generation hotspots, enabling more offsea wind energy to come online.
There will soon be an Electric Vehicle Strategy in place too, as the grid ponders methods of coping with demand and standardising the use of plugged-in vehicles to sell their spare battery charge back to the grid at peak times to cope with demand, plus the decarbonisation of home heating is to be looked at, perhaps involving more heat networks to hook up communities, rather than everyone having their own little inefficient 1980s boiler no one makes any more on the go.
Ofgem's chief exec Jonathan Brearley said: "Britain has come a long way. It has decarbonised faster than any other major economy, but we must go further, particularly on heat and transport. We are taking an approach that recognises that our role protecting consumers includes achieving net zero." [Ofgem via Reuters]