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Home/Delivering “Net Zero” – Will the wholesale market cease to function in a high renewables world?

Delivering “Net Zero” – Will the wholesale market cease to function in a high renewables world?

New analysis from Aurora Energy Research explores what happens to the power market in a very high renewables world as Great Britain approaches a zero-carbon power system.

The analysis considers a 2050 scenario with a combined total of 130GW of wind, solar and nuclear capacity (up from 40GW today) in Britain. Power demand has grown by nearly two thirds (relative to today) as it is assumed that all cars and 80% of residential heating is electrified.

Aurora’s report highlights that significant growth of renewables would fundamentally alter the workings of the power market with an excess of renewables generation leading to prices crashing during the summer months. This raises questions about whether the current wholesale market design can persist in the long term as we approach a zero-carbon system, or whether we need to learn lessons from other ‘zero marginal cost’ sectors (such as the internet) on how the power market might need to be restructured in the future.

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