Content by Aegon Asset Management

In March 1980 there was only one question on the minds of the British public: who shot JR?

In November of that year 21.5 million people in Britain tuned-in to find out the answer to that question. At the time, our UK electricity network was only able to cope with the increased demand from events such as this via coal-fired power stations.


Coal power stations – the most obvious cause of industrial air pollution – were the main source for generating electricity until the late 1980s.

Fast forward another 20 years and we see a dramatic transformation in our energy system. Cheaper renewable technologies, coupled with aggressive government policies, have seen coal reduced to just 1.6% of the country’s electricity mix (2020) – down from 25% five years ago.

But the problem with renewable energy is the sun doesn’t always shine, just as the wind doesn’t always blow (I feel like there’s a number one hit in there somewhere…).


As the supply of renewables grows faster than the energy storage market, there are concerns of a looming gap between the two.

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