Cruachan Dam, Scotland, an existing 440MW pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) facility, one of only four in the UK. PHES is the most commercially mature LDES technology, with a duration typically between 4 and 20 hours. Image: Drax Power.
According to the report, this shortfall would be caused by a “perfect storm” of increased demand, the retirement of existing assets, and delays in the completion of Hinkley Point C. Image: Drax Power.

A new report commissioned by Drax has discovered an energy ‘crunch point’ in 2028 where demand will exceed secure dispatchable baseload capacity by 7.5GW at peak times.

Conducted by business management consultant Public First, the ‘Mind the gap: Exploring Britain’s energy crunch’ report revealed that this is nearly double the shortfall recorded in 2022 (4GW) and represents the tightest headroom for the next five years.

In 2028 the total de-rated capacity will be just 5GW higher, roughly 40% less than the 8.5GW of headroom predicted across 2024 and 2027. This gap could increase even more (50%), continued the report, due to uncertainty around biomass generators which contribute more than 3GW of dispatchable power.

According to the report, this shortfall would be caused by a “perfect storm” of increased demand when more low-carbon technologies are adopted, the retirement of existing assets, and delays in the completion of the 2.5GW Hinkley Point C.

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