The UK needs an energy system that could cope with multi-week “wind droughts” that hobble its vast offshore turbine fleet, with hydrogen and even natural gas on standby as possible power backups, the government’s climate change adviser said.

The UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) — which advises ministers on net-zero policy and strategy — said conventional turbines burning green hydrogen or gas allied to carbon capture and storage could be needed to give the country’s energy system the flexibility to cope during “occasional extended [up to multi-week] periods of low wind generation”.