Large-scale renewables are the most important factor in decarbonisation of the energy sector, according to a new UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) report.

However, rapid, unprecedented changes across the entire UK economy will be required to meet net zero. Disruptive change, defined by UKERC as a significant deviation from past trends in a short timeframe, is inevitable but the extent and impact is uncertain, the report says.

Using data from a survey of 130 UK energy researchers and stakeholders, the report came to a series of conclusions on electricity, heat and transport.

Decarbonising the energy sector

The results yielded a mix of opinions, although most respondents agreed that the Big Six are unlikely to be completely displaced by aggregators, community energy suppliers and intermediary companies by 2040.

Large-scale renewables were seen as the single most important contributor to change in the power sector. Demand side management and response solutions, in particularly energy storage, and smart electricity networks are also expected to make important contributions to the energy transition.

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