Builders' Merchants News

David Mackay: demand for electricity to double by 2050.

'We need installers with the right capabilities' says DECC adviser

Published:  28 October, 2010

WORCESTER: The Government’s chief scientific adviser has urged installers to play a key role in the delivery of the UK’s climate change targets while admitting that the UK must undergo 'significant electrification' in the coming decades.

In the keynote speech at the Bosch Forum, held at the House of Lords, professor David Mackay of the Department of Energy & Climate Change, outlined the Government’s preferred route to meet its legally-binding climate change targets, called Pathway Alpha.

“Our Pathway Alpha model is based around the common themes of demand reduction, insulation, energy efficiency and security of supply. We anticipate a doubling of electricity demand by 2050 which will be met by the use of big ticket items, such as onshore and offshore wind, nuclear and carbon capture and storage. However, we do anticipate that there will still be demand for that which cannot be electrified.

“We see a very important role for smart temperature controls, heat pumps and seasonal heat storage, but there is also likely to be a need for behavioral change on the part of consumers to bring down the average temperatures of buildings.”

Professor Mackay said that installers will play a key role: “We need to get installers with the right capabilities and also a sensible metric for the comparison of different renewable technologies.”

Setting a target for 20 million heat pumps in operation by 2050, professor Mackay re-affirmed his support for heat pump technology. “The recent Energy Saving Trust report has highlighted a clear need for improvement in performance, but I still believe there is a role for this technology.”