VIDEO: Managing director for nuclear and power at the engineering consultancy chats to BusinessGreen's James Murray about achieving a net zero power system
Chris Ball is managing director for nuclear and power at Atkins, one of the world's most influential design, engineering and project management consultancies.
Armed with a degree in nuclear engineering, Ball has spent his 25-year career honing his expertise in the UK power sector, putting him in a better position than many to offer a sense of the scale of transformation that is needed over the next decade and beyond in order to deliver a net zero economy.
In a fascinating chat with BusinessGreen's editor in chief James Murray last month, Ball explains why the economic transformation ahead will place huge additional demand for power on the UK grid, which will also need to rapidly decarbonise in the coming decade and beyond. As such, he estimates that the UK's electricity supply will likely need to double in terms of meeting demand, but to treble in terms of capacity in order to make up for the intermittancy of renewable energy.
Simply put, the UK's electricity installed power capacity needs to scale up from around 90-100GW today, to around 200GW by 2050, yet at the same time the vast majority of the country's existing power capacity is also set to come to the end of its lifespan over the next 30 years, Ball explains. There is, clearly, a huge task ahead. The conversation can be watched in full above.
Atkins is a partner of the Net Zero Festival.
All of the panel debates, keynote speeches, and presentations from the Net Zero Festival - which took place over three days from 29 September 2021 featuring hundreds of top speakers from business, politics and academia - are now available to watch again on demand by signing up for free on the Net Zero Festival website.