The cap on Contracts for Difference must rise by 25% to 15GW on the back of ‘sky-high’ public support for clean renewables, the sector’s biggest lobby organisation is insisting.
This December will see Allocation Round 4, the next series of reverse auctions due to capitalise on tumbling prices of clean generation. In March 2020 the Johnson government ended the Conservatives’ four-year ban on onshore wind and solar participating in CfD auctions.
Dan McGrail, CEO since May of RenewableUK, now points out that an identified total of 9GW of wind, solar, and marine projects are sitting in local planners’ in-trays. That pipeline adds to 14GW of clean capacity already generating.
Beside a widening cost advantage, a further big benefit of low-carbon technologies is their speedier construction and commissioning.
Allocation Round 3 in 2019 achieved a notional budgetary saving of over £ 17 billion for 2023/24 delivery. Total new capacity secured under Round 3 was 5.77GW, 95% of it in offshore wind, at a clearing price £39.65/MWh deliverable for 2023.
RenewableUK also seeks annual CfD auctions, doubling their frequency. That’s still behind the speed sought by other green trade bodies: last week the Renewable Energy Association called for auctions every six months.
McGrail is a seventeen-year veteran of Siemens UK. He worked to secure over £300 million of co-development investment for turbine manufacture, announced in 2014 to revitalise in Hull’s Alexandra Dock.
He commented: “The government has said it wants to build back better after the pandemic and public support for renewables is sky-high.
“As the UK is hosting the biggest international climate change summit for years in Glasgow in November, there will never be a better moment to kickstart the Prime Minister’s Green Industrial Revolution”.