BREAKING: In a shock move, Number 10 is set to confirm the most cost-effective forms of renewables will be able to bid for government-backed contracts, helping to curb energy bills in the process. Number 10 is set to secure plaudits from business groups, renewable energy developers, and environmental campaigners, after it emerged it is to allow onshore wind and solar projects to compete for clean power contracts in the next round of government-backed auctions. In a surprise move, the government is expected to announce new onshore wind and solar projects would be able to take part in the next round of the contracts for difference (CfD) auctions, which are slated to take place next year. The precise level of funding available through the auction is yet to be determined, but government sources are optimistic the move can deliver net savings to billpayers. Advocates of renewables and mainstream business groups, such as the CBI, have long argued onshore wind and solar farms represent the most cost effective form of new power generation available in the UK and as such allowing them to compete for CfDs would allow significant quantities of new clean power capacity to be added to the grid at potentially no cost to billpayers, helping to hold down energy bills in the process. The government indicated the new auction would allow the most cost competitive projects to come online by the mid-2020s, providing a major boost to efforts to meet the UK’s medium and long term emissions targets, which the country is currently on track to miss.
Business Green 2nd March 2020 read more »
The UK government has abandoned its opposition to subsidising new onshore windfarms, four years after ministers scrapped support for new projects. The government has agreed to reverse its block against onshore wind projects by allowing schemes to compete for financial support contracts alongside other renewable energy technologies. The U-turn follows the government’s commitment to cut emissions to virtually zero by 2050, a feat that its official climate advisers believe will require the UK’s onshore wind-power capacity to triple in the next 15 years. The plans to renew support for onshore wind were outlined to green campaigners by policy advisers at No 10 on Monday morning and are expected to be announced officially by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) later on Monday. Alok Sharma, the secretary of state for business and energy, is expected to say that ending the UK’s contribution to the climate crisis “means making the most of every technology available, and that includes backing more onshore wind and solar projects”.
Guardian 2nd March 2020 read more »
Reuters 2nd March 2020 read more »
Boris Johnson has given the go-ahead to onshore wind farms four years after his predecessor, David Cameron, imposed a moratorium on subsidies for land-based wind turbines. The prime minister’s move follows lower prices of electricity produced by wind farms in recent years, making the technology significantly cheaper than other forms of low-carbon electricity such as nuclear power. Ahead of November’s Cop26 global climate change talks in Glasgow, the government is under growing pressure to adopt a strategy to hit its target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In a plan set out to climate groups in Downing Street on Monday, onshore projects will be allowed to compete for government subsidies alongside other renewable energy technologies, such as offshore wind.
FT 2nd March 2020 read more »
In response to reports that the government will be allowing onshore wind farms to be built again, John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK, said – “This is great news for anyone who pays an energy bill, and it’s great news for our climate. Onshore wind and solar are not only some of the cheapest sources of energy, reducing costs for everyone, but they are a vital part of putting the UK on track to net zero as quickly as possible. The government now needs to engage with local communities in order to get large amounts of onshore wind and solar off the ground. Leading by example, by tripling the UK’s wind and solar by 2030, is a prerequisite for successful UK leadership at this year’s global climate talks in Glasgow. This is an important measure to clean up our power system, but action is needed across the board, including delivery of the government’s offshore wind target and upgrading the grid for electric vehicles and storage.”
Greenpeace 2nd March 2020 read more »
RenewableUK is welcoming the Government’s announcement that cheap onshore wind projects will be allowed to compete for contracts to generate clean power. Onshore wind has a key role to play in helping the UK meet our net zero emissions target at the lowest cost for consumers.
RenewableUK 2nd March 2020 read more »
The UK Government is reportedly set to reverse its decision to oppose subsidies for new onshore wind farms today (2 March), following calls for a review to its wind policy framework in light of the net-zero target.
Edie 2nd March 2020 read more »
Dozens of onshore wind and solar farms could be built around Britain after ministers backed their construction to help to tackle climate change. Boris Johnson’s government said it would offer financial support to new projects from next year, ending a block on subsidies imposed by David Cameron from 2016. The move follows sharp reductions in the cost of wind and solar power that experts say mean the projects should not add to energy bills. The government legislated last year for Britain to cut its carbon emissions to “net zero” by 2050. Its climate advisers said this would need a quadrupling of low-carbon electricity sources such as wind and solar to power green energy, heating and transport systems.
Times 3rd March 2020 read more »
Independent 2nd March 2020 read more »
BBC 2nd March 2020 read more »
Details of the next round of the Contracts for Difference scheme, which opens in 2021, have been set out today, Monday 2 March. This latest round will be open to renewable technologies including onshore wind and solar, with proposals to include floating offshore wind. The scheme will also be changed to facilitate the deployment of energy storage. Local communities will have a more effective voice on developments that impact them, through proposals for tough new guidance on community engagement for developers of onshore wind across Great Britain, also announced today. They will have a definitive say on whether projects are allowed to proceed. It will remain the case that no English onshore wind project can proceed without the consent of the local community.
BEIS 2nd March 2020 read more »
Parliament 2nd March 2020 read more »
The government’s decision to overturn an effective five-year-old ban on new onshore wind power generation is hugely welcome. Wind provides the cheapest energy, with the first subsidy-free contracts for offshore projects awarded last year. Onshore wind is even cheaper. It is also popular, scoring above other infrastructure (including roads and railway stations) in opinion polls despite the efforts of climate denialists to portray it as a public nuisance. Most importantly, it is renewable and very low-carbon. Unlike oil, gas and coal, wind does not produce greenhouse gases (apart from in the initial phase of manufacturing and installation) and is not something we can run out of. Unlike nuclear, it does not produce toxic waste as a byproduct. Ministers must not be allowed to sit on their laurels. Wind and solar will not solve all our energy problems and research and development into battery storage, carbon capture and renewable power projects of all kinds are urgently needed. Systematic retrofitting of the UK’s aged housing stock, to increase energy efficiency, has been shamefully neglected. Having promised that the public will, in future, have a greater say over wind developments through an altered planning process, ministers must now ensure that all new housing and construction projects are compatible with climate goals.
Guardian 2nd March 2020 read more »
Dozens of new onshore wind farms look likely to be built in Scotland after ministers backed their construction to help to tackle climate change. Boris Johnson’s government said it would offer financial support to new projects from next year, ending a block on subsidies imposed in 2015. The move follows sharp reductions in the cost of wind and solar power that mean the projects should not add to energy bills. Almost 60 per cent of the UK’s onshore wind capacity is located north of the border and 80 per cent of the sites with planning consent are in Scotland.
Times 3rd March 2020 read more »