Fears for future of UK onshore wind power despite record growth. A record amount of onshore wind power was built in the UK last year, but government policy has been stalling the sector and risked increasing energy bills for consumers, the industry has warned. Turbines capable of generating 2.6GW were installed across Britain in 2017 as developers rushed to meet the government deadline for securing subsidies. The previous record was 1.3GW in 2013. The Conservatives’ ban on onshore windfarms competing for subsidies means the sector’s future prospects are very limited, according to RenewableUK. The trade body expects new capacity installation to fall to 0.94GW this year and 0.37GW next year. Recently ministers have indicated a possible softening in their stance, which several experts have said leaves the UK missing out on a clean, cheap source of power. Energy companies that want to continue building onshore have argued that to compete at a low enough price to win subsidies, new windfarms would be located in Wales and Scotland, which have the windiest sites. That should allay any political concerns over England, they say. ScottishPower commissioned research that suggested new onshore windfarms were now so cheap that subsidies would help lower the cost of capital but would effectively be cost-free for householders, who pay the subsidies through energy bills. Npower’s German owner, Innogy, operates 17 onshore windfarms in the UK and is building five more. It said it was exploring all options to make them economically viable but was frustrated by the government ban.
Guardian 22nd Jan 2018 read more »
Offshore wind capacity could reach 30GW by the 2030s with the right support from the government and Ofgem, Aurora Energy Research has claimed in a new report. The market intelligence firm says offering offshore wind projects “zero-subsidy” Contracts for Difference and permitting them to stack revenues from balancing and ancillary services could also lower the typical household electricity bill by £20 per year. Under the present arrangements, Aurora expects offshore wind capacity, which currently stands at 6GW, to rise to between 20GW to 24GW by the mid-2020s. The low-carbon subsidies already awarded by the government, including in the latest Contracts for Difference auction , will bring the total to 14GW. The £557 million of additional annual support which has been promised for future auctions is projected to add between 6GW and 10GW.
Utility Week 22nd Jan 2018 read more »
The final phase of the Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm is now generating power, according to Danish energy giant and project owner Ørsted. The 659MW project off the coast of Cumbria is expected to become the world’s largest operational wind farm when it is completed later this year, providing power for more than 500,000 homes.
Business Green 22nd Jan 2018 read more »