A report by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has said that Britain should be operating entirely on clean renewable energy by 2030 to 2050, depending on its chosen route.
The NIC consults on infrastructure challenges and acts as an advisory body to the government. Its Net Zero report includes modelling that shows how renewable power systems could be created alongside flexible energy technologies, such as hydrogen-powered generation, to provide far cheaper fuel than alternatives that rely heavily on nuclear power.
The same report concluded that a future system based around clean and green renewable energy looked to be far safer and more cost-effective at present than building a series of additional nuclear plants.
It added that any energy system built now, and based heavily on renewables, would still be low cost in a net-zero environment.
The body said that it had carried out an analysis to prove that electricity system costs had remained mainly flat across various scenarios of renewable energy penetration. When hydrogen was brought into the mix, the costs dropped even further.
Barnaby Wharton, a director at Renewable UK, said that the report showed how essential renewable technologies such as wind power would be in providing an affordable and clean future energy system to the UK in the decades to come. He added that the deployment of such a model would allow consumers to enjoy cheap electricity and for the environment to benefit from low-carbon technologies. These, he added, should include emerging technologies for the low-carbon and renewable model, such as wave and tidal and renewable hydrogen.
He urged the government to continue with its trajectory of positive progress and to be challenging and ambitious when it came to setting policies that would allow the UK to hit its net-zero emissions target.