The economic slowdown means the UK could retire old coal, oil and nuclear power plants without risking black-outs between 2015 and 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
A combination of increased renewable energy capacity, along with already-planned, additional gas-fired capacity, could provide most of the additional electricity that the UK needs through to 2030.
In addition, the UK’s second 'dash for gas', which could see the addition of 15 GW of new capacity between 2010 and 2016 at a cost of £7.5 billion, is likely to be the last, the analyst predicts. Renewable energy, nuclear power, energy efficiency and retrofits to existing plants should be able to meet all additional needs from 2020 onwards.
Government and other market participants have expressed concern that Great Britain will experience a shortage of power supply as 12 GW of coal and oil-fired plants close by 2016 due to environmental requirements. An additional 7 GW of nuclear is scheduled to close by the end of the decade.