The challenges of running a low-carbon electricity grid
There is a wide consensus that the future of the UK power system lies in low-carbon, renewable, power and that we need to deliver change quickly. Nearly everyone agrees, so what’s the delay? The answer is that achieving a genuinely low carbon grid is far more complicated than it sounds. Keeping the lights on needs a mix of different technologies with a range of qualities and attributes. We can’t simply knock down the fossil fuelled generators and build new wind farms and solar parks.
To make a success of a very low carbon world we need a holistic approach that fundamentally changes the way electricity is generated, supplied and used. Indeed some of the cutting edge technology we will need is still in its infancy. The distinctions between generators, suppliers and users are increasingly blurring and even now many of the long-standing truths and assumptions surrounding the power industry are being challenged. Dorothy Thompson, former Chief Executive of Drax Group, explained the challenges and what Drax Group is doing to rise to them.