£557mn for new renewable energy projects, British Government confirms
For the next clean electricity auctions, the British government has confirmed that up to £557 (US$740mn) will be set aside for less established renewable projects.
This is in preparation for the launch of the Clean Growth Strategy, which will be published this week. The strategy will build on the UK’s success of a growing economy – by two thirds – and reduction of emissions – by a third – since the 1990s.
The government plans for the Clean Growth Strategy to benefit the whole country with new jobs, businesses, and technologies that are not only good for consumers and the economy, but are also environmentally-friendly.
Richard Harrington, the UK’s Energy Minister, confirmed that up to £557mn will be made available for less established renewable electricity projects, in order to continue driving economic growth and clean up the energy system.
“The government’s Clean Growth Strategy will set out how the whole of the UK can benefit from the global move to a low carbon economy,” stated Mr Harrington.
“We’ve shown beyond doubt that renewable energy projects are an effective way to cut our emissions, while creating thousands of good jobs and attracting billions of pounds worth of investment.”
In the Contracts for Difference auctions, developers will compete for up to £557mn. The first auction created over 3GW of new generation, enough to power 3.6mn homes, and the latest concluded with new offshore wind cost falling by 50%.
Low carbon generation provided 52% of the UK’s electricity over the summer, National Grid reported. The UK is also decarbonising at a faster rate than any other G20 nation.
The next Contracts for Difference auction is planned for spring 2019.
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.