RECORD-LOW prices for the next wave of offshore wind farms indicate they will not need to be subsidised by consumers for the first time. Some 12 renewable energy projects, including offshore and remote island wind schemes, secured contracts from the UK Government yesterday to provide enough power for more than seven million homes, with half the projects in Scotland. Prices for new offshore wind farms in the latest auction for the contracts –- which guarantee a set price for power from renewable schemes –have fallen by 30 per cent since 2017, to as low as £39.65 per megawatt hour.
Herald 21st Sept 2019 read more »
A record amount of new offshore wind power has been announced in the UK. The new projects will power more than seven million homes at a lower-than-expected cost. The government says the wind farms represent a breakthrough, typically generating electricity without subsidy. Environmentalists are delighted – but they warn ministers are failing to tackle more difficult challenges such as driving and home heating. They point out that electricity usage forms just 15% of household energy consumption – behind petrol, diesel and gas. Greenpeace campaigner Kaisa Kosonen tweeted: “Impossible is becoming possible in front of our very eyes.”
BBC 20th Sept 2019 read more »
A new wave of offshore wind farms around the UK will generate power more cheaply than burning coal and for the first time will not require any subsidy. The cost of power from offshore wind has plummeted 30 per cent in two years with a raft of 12 new energy projects coming in at a record low price of between £39.65 and £41.61 per megawatt hour, the government revealed on Friday. That is less than half of the £92.50 per megawatt hour that the government has committed to pay for power from the delayed and over-budget Hinkley Point C nuclear plant which is due to open in 2025. The government has secured almost 6GW of new renewables capacity, without spending any of the £65m budget allocated for this auction, due to the record low clearing prices.
Independent 20th Sept 2019 read more »
An influx of almost £2 billion in investment to the Highlands was put on hold yesterday as a giant wind farm project missed out on a bid to produce power in the Moray Firth. The 90-turbine Moray West Offshore Wind Farm was informed early yesterday by the UK Government that it had not met the desired “strike price” to sell energy to the National Grid. Shetland developer Viking Energy also missed out on the chance to build its planned 103-turbine onshore wind farm. It was hoped the Moray West development could bring £90 million investment to the north-east region alongside hundreds of jobs. The next Contract for Difference (CfD) auction isn’t planned for another two years. Moray West director Dan Finch claimed the project had the potential to be a “£2bn investment” for Scotland’s economy. Its sister project, Moray East Offshore Wind Farm, has been credited with bringing work to Fraserburgh Harbour and Port of Nigg. Projected job figures in the sector also took a hit as the pipeline of Scottish developments had to be reassessed last night. It was hoped the construction work for the 84-turbine Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm, Moray East and Moray West offshore wind projects would create a pipeline of more than 3,000 jobs over 10 years in the Moray Firth. Mr Finch said the news would “certainly have a negative impact” on renewable energy jobs in the north-east. He added: “It’s really disappointing, but we’ve been here before. “We will continue to work on it and we will build this project out, but we have some real challenges to overcome to make sure that we can do that – some of them are in our hands and some of them are in regulatory hands.” SSE Renewables 1.5 gigawatt (GW) Seagreen Wind Farm was only giant project to secure a bid in Scotland. One Scottish offshore wind insider yesterday called the result for Moray West and Viking Energy “a major blow” for the Highlands and Grampian region. He added that the result would have a “significant impact” on the project pipeline and supply chain in the area.
Energy Voice 21st Sept 2019 read more »
Six Scottish wind farm projects are set to go ahead after being awarded UK government contracts to sell the electricity they would produce. The schemes include Forthwind and SSE Renewables’ Seagreen Phase 1, which are both proposed for the Firth of Forth. Four onshore wind farms – Muaitheabhal and Druim Leathann in Lewis and Hesta Head and Costa Head in Orkney – have also secured contracts. The farms are expected to be built by 2025. All six could generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 265,000 homes, according to industry body Scottish Renewables. The approvals to sell electricity came through the UK government’s Contracts for Difference (CfD) programme.
[Cornwall Insight tweets – The capacity of projects awarded on Lewis and Orkney currently sit below the threshold MW level set by Ofgem to trigger new transmission links for both islands.]
BBC 20th Sept 2019 read more »
Energy from new offshore windfarms to come at no extra cost to consumers for first time after subsidies drop to record low.
iNews 20th Sept 2019 read more »
The UK Government’s mechanism for supporting low-carbon electricity generation is the Contracts for Difference (CfD), which have been awarded to two developers in the Outer Hebrides – Muaitheabhal Wind Farm and Druim Leathann Windfarm. However, a large development Stornoway Wind Farm, has not achieved the vital CfD. Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Councillor Roddie MacKay said of the annuoncement: “It is good news that two out of three local developers have achieved a CfD. “It is hugely disappointing, however, that Stornoway Wind Farm has not achieved a CfD. “We will be speaking to developers to understand how they wish to proceed in light of this news. Stornoway Wind Farm has consent for up to 36 turbines with a maximum capacity of 180MW and is a joint 50-50 venture between EDF Renewables and Wood under the umbrella ‘Lewis Wind Power’. EDF Renewables owns and operates 35 wind farms and a battery storage unit across the UK and is part of EDF Energy, which produces 40% of Scotland’s electricity.
Stornoway Gazette 20th Sept 2019 read more »
The UK is to get its first subsidy-free offshore windfarms after the government awarded contracts today for nearly 6 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, at prices below those it expects on the open market. The prices are so low that the windfarms could generate electricity more cheaply than existing gas-fired power stations as early as 2023, Carbon Brief analysis suggests. Even last year, renewables had not been expected to reach this tipping point until around 2030. The 12 schemes awarded contracts today include six offshore windfarms, totalling 5.5GW, and 0.3GW of onshore windfarms on remote Scottish islands. Together, they are expected to produce some 29 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity each year, equal to 9% of the UK’s total output in 2018 and sufficient to power a quarter of the country’s 26m homes. Nevertheless, today’s results show that UK renewables will soon pass the second of two “tipping points” predicted in 2017 by Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The first of these tipping points is when electricity from newly constructed renewables becomes cheaper than from new fossil-fired generation. The second is when it becomes cheaper to build new renewables than to keep running existing fossil-fueled power stations. These tipping points have huge symbolic significance, contributing to a changing conversation in public, political and media spheres. For example, the then-secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy Greg Clark gave a speech in 2018 proclaiming the imminent “end of the trilemma”. The trilemma was the idea that electricity supplies can meet only two out three competing priorities: cheap, secure or low-carbon. This trade-off will be “well and truly over” by the mid-2020s, Clark said, as “green power will be the cheapest”. Today’s results prove him right even earlier than he expected.
Carbon Brief 20th Sept 2019 read more »