Presenting a pessimistic outlook on electricity demand in the UK, Mike Lawn, Head of Power and Gas, Europe and North America at Bloomberg New Energy Finance has forecast demand growth will stay “close to flat up to 2030″ as industrial demand is unlikely to recover to pre financial crisis levels.
“Our view on industrial power demand [in the UK] is that it is essentially gone. It’s gone down by about 15 percent [since 2005] and it’s not coming back,” he said at a conference organised by Gas to Power Journal in London.
Power demand tends to be predominantly driven by industrial production, Lawn stressed, and added that the latest UK forecast dampens earlier expectations that demand is likely to recover as industrial production recovers. “UK capacity from 2005 started to decline and through the financial crisis, it collapsed completely,” he said, pointing out that many industrial sites such as aluminium smelters had been closed down.
Residential power demand also set to decline
In Lawn’s view, it is unlikely that residential demand will be able to make up for the lost industrial demand. “Cold and wet appliances are just going to keep getting more efficient and we’re not going to buy anymore. In lighting, the move to LEDs is going to also dramatically reduce light demand even though uptake is likely to increase. Consumer electronics are probably going to carry on with efficiency improvements and home computing is dying away,” he said, suggesting these factors “basically leave us with the assumption that there is very little additional demand to be had in households.”
Bloomberg’s data showed that between 2000 and 2010, there was a net increase in household energy consumption of 4TWh from 80TWh to 84TWh, driven by both national household growth (4TWh) and uptake per household increase (17TWh) but held back by energy efficiency improvements (-21TWh).
For the period of 2010 to 2020 however, projections showed an overall decline in household energy consumption of 2TWh to 82TWh. In this period, national household growth (8TWh) and uptake per household increase (8TWh) are likely to be outpaced by increases in energy efficiency (-18TWh).
UK electricity demand to remain “close to flat until 2030” - Bloomberg New Energy Finance - Gas to Power Journal - Gas to Power Journal UK