Uncertainties in key low carbon power generation technologies – Implication for UK decarbonisation targets
The UK government’s economy-wide 60% carbon dioxide reduction target by 2050 requires a paradigm shift in the whole energy system. Numerous analytical studies have concluded that the power sector is a critical contributor to a low carbon energy system, and electricity generation has dominated the policy discussion on UK decarbonisation scenarios. However, range of technical, social and market challenges, combined with alternate market investment strategies mean that large scale deployment of key classes of low carbon electricity technologies is fraught with uncertainty. The UK MARKAL energy systems model has been used to investigate these long-term uncertainties in key electricity generation options. A range of power sector specific parametric sensitivities have been performed under a ‘what-if’ framework to provide a systematic exploration of least-cost energy system configurations under a broad, integrated set of input assumptions. In this paper results of six sensitivities, via restricted investments in key low carbon technologies to reflect their technical and political uncertainties, and an alternate investment strategies from perceived risk and other barriers, have been presented.