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Concerns that UK renewable energy consumption is lagging behind other EU nations

View profile for Miles Dearden
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The UK is lagging behind other European Union (EU) nations when it comes to renewable energy consumption, a new study suggests.

A new report from IT consultancy Capgemini claims that the UK is “a laggard” in comparison with other EU nations when it comes to the total share of renewables in the energy mix of gross final energy consumption.

The group’s report claims that only ten per cent of final UK energy consumption came from renewables in 2015 – a figure which represents approximately half of the EU average.

However, the group has said that this could very well change in the near future, as falling costs in renewable energy technologies could put the UK back on track to meet its 2030 renewables development targets, if appropriate pricing mechanisms are enforced.

Capgemini’s World Energy Markets Observatory report estimates that global onshore and offshore energy costs will fall by between 26 and 35 per cent by the year 2025.

The report notes that the growth of renewables and the evolution of generation and storage technologies is “unstoppable,” but that the “intermittency” of such innovation and growth coupled with a lack of pricing reforms could prove problematic for the energy market.

Capgemini says that utility firms need to match the pace of change – as they could risk taking a significant financial hit if they fail to adapt to emerging markets and increasingly green consumer demands in the years to come.

“Colette Lewiner, Energy and Utilities Senior Adviser at the group, said: “Efforts in R&D and industrialisation are boosting renewable energy development, even when considering extra network investments linked to intermittence and energy generation distribution.

“Today, their intermittency coupled with the absence of pricing reforms, mean the impact of renewable energy on the wholesale markets prices threatens electricity supply and impacts negatively utilities’ finances.”

Perry Stoneman, Head of Energy and Utilities at Capgemini, added that the “vast majority of players” in the market were already “moving in that direction.”

However, he said that “very few” had found the “appropriate recipe.”  

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