Subsidy-free renewable projects on ‘cusp of breakthrough’ Netherlands’ wind farm will be Europe’s first to be built without government backing. In a few months’ time, if all goes to plan, designs will be drawn up for a wind farm that will be built 22km off the Netherlands’ coast. Once up and running in 2022, Hollandse Kust Zuid will be able to call itself Europe’s first offshore wind farm built without government subsidies. The wind farm, expected to be fully operational in 2023, will boast around 90 turbines that will deliver up to 750MW of power – enough to produce renewable electricity for up to 2m homes. The auction last week, won by Swedish energy group Vattenfall, is being hailed by many as a milestone for the renewable industry. Already last year Denmark’s Orsted and Germany’s Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg became the first companies to offer to build schemes by 2024 in Germany that will rely on market power prices alone. Momentum behind “subsidy-free” renewables is growing and technology costs have fallen dramatically. Subsidy-free renewables are also on the “cusp of breakthrough” in Britain, according to Aurora Energy Research, the Oxford-based consultancy. It predicts that onshore wind and solar projects in the UK could be viable without subsidies by the early 2020s, while offshore wind could reach “grid parity” by the 2030s.
FT 28th March 2018 read more »