We are pleased to share a summary report on the future energy scenarios we have developed for the North of Scotland for Scottish and Southern Energy Networks. This unique and diverse area already supports 3.2 GW of distribution connected generation and nearly 2 GW of onshore wind. If we are going to meet our climate targets, onshore wind could double over the next 12 years, there will be rapid switch to electric cars and more people will be using electricity to heat their homes.

Scenarios have always helped us deal with, and plan for, uncertain futures. Scenarios that look at our future energy system – the bedrock of our decarbonisation goals – are, therefore, becoming increasingly important as we anticipate step changes in energy use, demand and generation.

Regen have developed a distribution future energy scenarios process that has been helping energy networks ask themselves crucial ‘what if’ questions such as:

  • What if we see explosive growth in electric vehicles over the next five years and exponential growth in the years after that?
  • What if solar power sees the cost reductions and subsidy-free models that cause another solar surge?

These questions are all the more imperative as we approach the next energy network price control period RIIO2 which will set the framework for how the electricity network develops up to 2028.

The stakes could not be higher. If we are to meet net-zero, an acceleration of decarbonisation within the next decade is crucial, and our energy networks will be the key facilitators of that change.

Networks, their cost and availability already have a huge influence over what generators connect, where they connect and how profitable they might be. Networks will ultimately support or hinder how the UK is able to progress and where. That’s why Ofgem’s RIIO2 process must have decarbonisation as a core goal.

The report can be downloaded on SSEN website.

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