What could the future look like? – Future Energy Scenarios

James Whiteford works in our FES team as a Regional Engagement and Strategy Manager.

Have you ever wondered how our country will power itself in the future? How will we use renewable energy to make sure that our lights stay on? Our Future Energy Scenarios (FES) offer a glimpse into a future world. We pull together data and insight from experts across the industry to show how our energy landscape could look down the line, according to the actions we take today.  

With our 2021 report due in a few weeks, James Whiteford shares how his role is helping build a greener Britain.

30 ESO colleagues work on the ESO’s FES publication, pulling together 12 months worth of insight and input. What’s your specific role in the team?  

Future Energy Scenarios informs the long-term planning of Great Britain’s energy systems and helps stakeholders transition to a greener future. It’s my job to explore how regional or local factors could impact use of our energy system in the years to come. This helps us understand the system in more specific detail alongside a ‘big-picture’ national level.  

Find out more about our Future Energy Scenarios (FES)

If we can consider more detail in our assumptions of local energy usage and how this varies across the country, we can enhance our future scenarios. 

Once we have identified how these assumptions could impact our scenarios, it’s my job to help us get there, which involves working with a whole range of people, from gas and electricity network companies to academics and energy industry organisations.  

How does the regional aspect of FES help the UK meet its net zero targets? 

We hope that regionalisation will support the understanding of future energy policy at a local level, helping policy makers understand what they need to do to support the journey to net zero.  

How does your role help to create a greener future? 

The ESO acts as a kind of energy co-ordinator, pulling together any information we can get our hands on that relates to the future of energy. We then share our view on where we are heading with our energy system, and where we could go. We effectively give decision makers a map with different outcomes and what would be needed to get there. Having energy pathways properly scoped out helps decision makers visualise what needs to happen and gives us all something to aim for.  

Find out more about FES by registering for our FES 2021 Launch webinar