14 renewable firms urge the UK government to enable onshore wind to compete for auction
14 renewable energy companies in the UK have written the government in a bid to encourage onshore wind’s role in auctions.
The letter is addressed to Greg Clark, the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy.
There are currently restrictions preventing onshore wind from entering power auctions under the Contracts for Difference scheme in the country.
ScottishPower Renewables, SSE, innogy, Statkraft, Vattenfall, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Vestas, CS Wind, RJ McLeod, Farrans Construction, AE Yates, REG Power Management, Athena PTS, and RSK all signed the letter.
“In addition to being the cheapest form of new power generation, an analysis from the BVG has found that onshore wind has the potential to deliver 18,000 skilled construction jobs, 8,500 longterm skilled jobs, and stimulate supply chain investment, resulting in 70% UK content in projects, in those areas where there are no objections to its development,” the letter reads.
“Thanks to a rapid fall in costs, new onshore wind power can be secured at a subsidy-free price.”
“However, the considerable upfront investments and lack of investor certainty associated with a merchant approach to onshore wind development means that there is a risk this low-cost, lowcarbon power source, and its potential, will not be sufficiently utilised without contracts to procure new capacity.”
“In order not to miss the opportunities for growth in supply chain companies and consumer benefit, it is crucial that a decision on procurement through CfD auctions is made now.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.