Renewable energy is about more than just megawatts – it’s power with purpose. Scotland’s determination to reap the environmental and economic benefits of a shift to green energy is setting us up to capture an economic prize on a global scale. Recent news from the energy sector has shown once again that renewable energy can beat conventional generation on cost. The results of an auction for clean power capacity in September delivered offshore wind – derided as “very expensive” four years ago – at £57.50 per megawatt hour. That’s not far off half the cost of new nuclear. Some big words accompanied the prices achieved by offshore wind – phenomenal, amazing – and the sector should be rightly proud of the cost reductions it has achieved. But some perspective here is a good thing. Renewables is still a young industry, and cost reductions like this aren’t possible for all technologies. Scotland leads the world in marine energy, with home-grown companies delivering devices that can capture energy from our waves and tides. The global opportunity presented by this technology is vast. But these companies have no way to sell the power they produce, because they cannot compete on price with offshore wind. So should we give up on them and focus on the cheapest options? Would this match with the aspirations of the UK government’s clean growth strategy? Will it increase our productivity, create good jobs, boost earning power for people across the country and help to protect the climate and environment? Of course not, and of course we shouldn’t. Innovation is not a cheap business and it takes time. Are lower bills and a country powered by renewables mutually exclusive? Absolutely not, but we need patience if we’re to make the transition work for everyone.
Times 18th Dec 2017 read more »
The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and RenewableUK have launched a new project to show how wave and tidal technologies can meet new technology tests.
Edie 15th Dec 2017 read more »