The Security of UK Energy Futures

26 Mar 2018

Energy security is a central goal of energy policy in most countries and with rapid changes occurring throughout the UK energy sector, it remains high on the policy agenda. Recent concerns about UK gas supplies - highlighted by National Grid's gas deficit warning demonstrated just how fundamentally important it is to have a reliable energy system.

Using a number of indicators, ‘The Security of UK Energy Futures’ assesses aspects of security such as energy availability, reliability, sustainability and affordability to examine how energy security risks will change over time

The report draws three main conclusions:  

  1. There is an important role for energy efficiency and energy demand reduction in energy security strategies; by reducing our energy demand we reduce exposure to risks such as price shocks and energy shortages.
  2. The relationship between decarbonisation and energy security is not straightforward. Energy imports are often cited as being insecure, however this can be controversial. Imports can help enhance security by providing additional sources of energy, by lowering costs, or by increasing diversity. What matters most is where the imports are from and whether they are dominated by risky sources or supply routes.
  3. Many of the risks can be mitigated; security of the electricity and gas system can be improved significantly by investing in system flexibility. Increasing demand side response has a particularly positive impact on system reliability.