According to a new study, the energy system in the UK will become increasingly susceptible to British weather as a result of the rise of wind and solar power.
The study by Bloomberg News Energy Finance (BNEF) projects that half of all electricity will come from wind and solar by 2040.
During to fluctuating wind and solar output due to weather conditions, there are expected to be periods of up to a month where Britain will be dependent on other forms of power for more than 70% of its electricity.
Albert Cheung, head of analysis at BNEF and lead author of the report, said: “If that capacity is not available, there will be blackouts or brownouts,” he added: “Policymakers need to be planning for this today or they will face problems managing it in future.”
Based on the analysis of weather patterns and predictions of UK energy demand growth, the UK will need 70GW of generating capacity from non-wind and solar energy sources in 2040.
This is more than the peak output of 61GW from non-wind and solar resources in the UK in 2017.
The findings in this study echo concerns raised by the House of Lord’s Economic Affairs select committee earlier this year, which noted: “Low-carbon but chronically unreliable electricity is not acceptable. Similarly very cheap prices at the expense of frequent shortages would be unacceptable.”