Onshore Wind Projects Could Proceed Without Subsidies In The UK

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A new study has found that the UK Government could deliver 1 GW of new onshore wind energy through an expected national renewable energy Contracts for Difference auction at no additional cost to consumers — in other words, subsidy free.

The new report was published by industry experts Baringa Partners for industry body Scottish Renewables, which asked Baringa to assess the costs of developing an additional 1 GW of ‘Pot 1’ renewable capacity through an auction for Contracts for Difference (CfD) in Great Britain. The auction is expected to take place in 2018 or 2019, with the capacity involved in the auction set to come online between 2021 and 2023.

The premise behind Scottish Renewables’ request for this report is the fact that the UK Government has not provided any funding or allowance for pot 1 technologies — more mature technologies such as onshore wind and large-scale solar. Rather, funding is available for pot 2 technologies — less established technologies such as offshore wind, wave, tidal stream, and geothermal.

The UK Government has made it clear it no longer wants to subsidize onshore wind, but the new Baringa report shows that subsidies are not necessary, highlighting that the UK Government — if it opened the upcoming auction to onshore wind — could provide 1 GW of new onshore capacity at no expense to the taxpayer.

“The UK Government has already published research showing that onshore wind is on track to be the cheapest form of electricity generation in the UK, and this report shows that the industry is continuing to drive down costs,” said Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of industry body Scottish Renewables.

“The study’s findings reinforce that onshore wind can make a significant contribution to ministers’ ambitions for the Industrial Strategy.

“At these kinds of prices, the technology can continue to play a key role in cutting carbon emissions whilst keeping bills down for businesses and households – an important priority for Government.  It can also secure inward investment and jobs across the country and drive the renewal of our ageing energy infrastructure.”

“However, the report also shows that we will only deliver those benefits at scale if onshore wind and other mature renewables are able to bid again for long-term contracts for clean electricity generation.”

“When it comes to keeping the lights on at the lowest possible cost to consumers, onshore wind is absolutely crucial,” said RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck.

“The Government’s upcoming Industrial Strategy is rightly concerned with energy costs, so it makes no sense to deny future projects a chance to compete in auctions for contracts to generate electricity.

“Bill payers deserve the best possible value for money. This report shows that if onshore wind was allowed to take part in the competitive auction process, it would prove yet again that it can provide power for British homes, businesses and factories cheaper than any other low-carbon technology.”

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Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.

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