As announced in the Autumn Statement, the Government has published its gas generation strategy. http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn12_157/pn12_157.aspx This states the Government’s expectation that gas will continue to play a major role in the electricity mix over coming decades, alongside low-carbon technologies as the electricity system is decarbonised. It sets out that significant investment in new gas plant is likely to be required. DECC modelling suggests that up to 26GW of new gas plant could be required by 2030, in part to replace older coal, gas and nuclear plant as it retires, It also indicates that, in 2030, more overall gas capacity could be required than we have today, though operating at lower load factors.
The strategy also includes modelling for a case where gas plays a more extensive role, with up to 37GW of new gas plant by 2030. In relation to this scenario, the Committee on Climate Change has commented that this would not be economically sensible, and would entail unnecessary costs and price increases – as well as being incompatible with meeting carbon budgets and the 2050 target for emissions reduction. http://www.theccc.org.uk/news/latest-news/1222-ccc-says-early-decarbonisation-of-the-power-sector-should-be-plan-a-and-the-dash-for-gas-plan-z