According to a new study, electricity efficiency measures in the UK have the potential to reduce electricity demand by 155 TWh per year by 2030, if implemented in full.
The draft study, Capturing the full electricity efficiency potential of the U.K., was prepared by McKinsey as part of an initiative to assess the support and incentives for efficiency improvements in electricity usage and the need for additional measures.
The study is now open to consultation and finds that moderate growth is projected to about 411 TWh, without any policy intervention in 2030 up from 328 TWh in 2010. Electrification of vehicles and heating have the potential to add an additional 5-15 % to the demand in 2030.
The main energy efficiency drivers are improved building insulation, more efficient appliances and industrial equipment, and the use of CFL lighting and lighting controls. Approximately 66 TWh of the potential energy efficiency saving would result in the residential sector, while the commercial sector would contribute 47 TWh, the industrial sector 31 TWh and the public admin section 11 Twh.
There are a number of barriers preventing energy efficiency, these include transaction costs are large compared to the subsequent benefits, longer payback period, and a feed-in tariff like mechanism certificates could be implemented through suppliers to create an incentive for energy efficiency.
“With such vast potential for more efficiency in the electricity system, we must look closely at all the possibilities,” commented Minister of State for Energy, Charles Hendry. “That’s why we have agreed to explore these options through a formal consultation.”