A new report published by Green Alliance has suggested that the building of expensive new gas plants could be avoided by rapidly increasing the deployment of renewables.
If the UK is unable to increase the rate of deployment of renewables it could cost consumers around £2.6 billion per year by 2025.
This is argued to be due to a policy freeze, thwarting clean energy development and investment for the past two years.
The report claims that the government is therefore likely to lose all of the gains made in renewable investment, which has helped to reduce the cost of solar and wind power projects.
Due to the recent news that around 50% has been wiped off the price of offshore wind generated power in the past two years, it is likely that onshore wind and solar are due to see similar cost reductions.
Although, this cost reduction is at risk without the suggested policy changes.
Green Alliance senior policy adviser, Chaitanya Kumar stated: “Since 2015, the UK has been cutting back on renewables just as they have become cheap, having previously invested heavily to bring down their costs.”
“A smarter strategy would be to follow through on the earlier investment and buy more of this cheaper, clean energy, which would keep energy bills down and support new jobs in the renewables industry across the country.”
At present, there is a waiting list of 65TWh of renewable power capacity waiting to be established in the UK. This figure equates to around 20% of the UK’s annual consumption.
A government spokesman claims that current energy policy is allowing for a record high renewable capacity and that costs are continually falling.
“We will continue to grow our economy while cutting carbon emissions, and will set out further plans in the upcoming Clean Growth Strategy.”
The report suggests that the £2.6bn cost difference will be the difference between building the 65TWh of queued capacity versus using new gas capacity.
However, this is based on an assumption that the government will indeed adhere to its carbon targets.
The Committee on Climate Change estimates that carbon prices will rise by over £50 per tonne to £76 by 2030, ensuring renewables remain the cheapest form of energy generation.