If the UK is to meet its new offshore wind target of 40GW by 2030, further funding and more frequency Contract for Difference (CfD) auctions will be needed. Speaking to Current±, Aurora Energy Research project leader Weijie Mak explained that the company’s analysis suggested that £50 billion work of expenditure over the next ten years would be needed to reach the target. This figure is far higher than the £160 million pledged by the prime minister Boris Johnson in his speech at the Conservative Party conference yesterday, when he announced that the offshore wind generation target would increase by 10GW.
Current 7th Oct 2020 read more »
Since lockdown in March 2020, analysis by RenewableUK shows that UK-based companies within the wind industry have announced investments and new projects worth over £4bn, creating more than 2,000 jobs. Furthermore, wind energy alone produced 26 per cent of the UK’s electricity in the first half of 2020, with 14 per cent coming from offshore wind – the fastest growing technology reported. The stark contrast of this compared to economic trends in other sectors of the UK is truly astounding and representative of the enormous opportunity in the field.
Business Green 8th Oct 2020 read more »
Boris Johnson declared “as Saudi Arabia is to oil, the UK is to wind”. This may be true, but exploiting this advantage will require turbine generators stocked with rare earth metals. “Rare” is a bit of a misnomer though. The material isn’t all that scarce and the world isn’t at risk of running out. It does occur in relatively low concentrations where it is found though. This makes it challenging to refine enough of it and China presently controls most of the world’s supply chain. The UK might be overlooking an indigenous supply of rare earth magnetic material in many of the waste electronics it discards. Motors, pumps and electronic goods such as speakers and hard disk drives all contain them. All that is needed to exploit this is a capable recycling industry, and that’s something the University of Birmingham is looking into.
The Conversation 7th Oct 2020 read more »
Letter Geoffrey Maitland, Professor of energy engineering, Imperial College: Encouraging though it is to hear Boris Johnson’s enthusiasm for powering our homes entirely through wind-generated electricity by 2030, he falls into the same trap as many by pinning hopes on a single solution to achieve the green energy transition. As 80 per cent of a household’s energy is consumed in heating, even to achieve this short-term ambition will require additional investment in heat pumps and hydrogen derived from both excess wind power and natural gas with carbon capture and storage, which is not the unproven technology described in your leading article (Oct 7), as Norway and other countries have shown for decades. Hydrogen heating will require conversion of our gas boilers and intensified replacement of metal gas pipelines by plastic ones to make both hydrogen-compatible. So the investment and logistics challenges are huge and extend far beyond increasing wind capacity. To achieve this ambition and then net-zero carbon by 2050 will require an integrated clean energy strategy in which hydrogen, nuclear, solar and bioenergy all have a part to play.
Times 8th Oct 2020 read more »
BORIS Johnson, in his infrequent appearances on TV, insists upon the description of the UK as a “world leader”, the latest being in wind power sufficient to satisfy UK demand in total by 2030. Two points here are important, one being that no mention whatsoever is made regarding the energy industry’s own forecast of that requirement and how to satisfy it. Secondly it will be remembered that some years ago, when a programme was suggested of a massive wind power development in Scotland, by Scotland, which required a calculated, demonstrated degree of subsidy from the UK – and which would have provided a substantial increase in output together with a commensurate number of jobs, in Scotland – this was without explanation denied by Westminster. We do in fact now export power to England.
The National 7th Oct 2020 read more »
Plans to offer offshore wind developers guaranteed prices of more than £100 per MWh to try to encourage the industry were met with derision less than a decade ago. Among the sceptics was Boris Johnson, London mayor at the time, who insisted wind farms couldn’t “pull the skin off a rice pudding” – as he wryly reminded observers this week. How times have changed. The electricity price guaranteed to UK offshore wind developers has fallen by 70pc and Johnson, now Prime Minister, is hanging his hat on them to help the country cut carbon emissions to net zero and power “every home” within the decade. In 2014, the government was dishing out contracts guaranteeing developers electricity prices of above £140 per MWh. Last year, developers accepted guarantees as low as £40 per MWh, fuelling excitement that no actual payments will be required. Such gains are reflected in falling costs to produce offshore wind around the world, as commitments to cut carbon emissions leads to policies that encourage competition.
Telegraph 7th Oct 2020 read more »
The world is seeing the emergence of a new breed of energy giant. Florida’s NextEra Energy, a solar and wind power generator, this month briefly surpassed oil and gas titan, ExxonMobil in stock market value, to become the largest US energy company. On Friday, NextEra’s market capitalisation was $138.6bn (£107.4bn) – roughly one billion more than ExxonMobil. Other green energy heavyweights include Denmark’s Orsted, who in March overtook Norwegian oil major Equinor as the most valuable energy company in the Nordic region. Spanish-German Siemens Gamesa and Spain’s Iberdrola are also growing rapidly. Many of these energy giants have been drawn to the UK’s windy coastline and have helped drive the country’s offshore energy sector forward. The problem, however, is that none of them are British. Boris Johnson is determined to change that. This week, he announced his plans to put Britain’s stamp on the sector.
Telegraph 8th Oct 2020 read more »