UK wind at risk despite CfD auction wins

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Richard Heap
March 2, 2015
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This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
UK wind at risk despite CfD auction wins

With some stories you just light the touch paper and stand back.

The UK government’s announcement last Thursday of the projects that have won subsidy support in the first auction in its Contracts for Difference regime is one such story. Twenty-seven projects were awarded CfDs, including 15 onshore wind farms and two offshore.

This has brought out the predictable criticisms of the government for paying out generous subsidies to the wind industry.

These criticisms are bolstered by the National Audit Office, which last June slammed the government's decision to award early CfDs to eight projects last April, at levels higher than those announced in the auction round last week. It may have a point.

But let’s take a step back. This first auction shows the government is making good on its commitments to support the growth of UK renewables, including onshore and offshore wind. It is supporting investment in the sector and the supply chain; and must continue to do so regardless of the result of the election in two months’ time.

This is the message that wind must ram home to the UK's leaders. If it doesn't happen then the UK's standing among wind investors will be further damaged. See today's lead story for more details.

It is absolutely right that the government supports the wind sector in the UK because the country is under pressure to integrate more low-carbon sources into the grid. Wind is a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels, and it enjoys widespread support in the UK despite what prime minister David Cameron and others would tell you.

It also makes sense for the UK to invest in offshore wind because it helps the country to take a global lead in a fledgling industry.

New factories for MHI Vestas and Siemens in the Isle of Wight and Hull respectively show that major manufacturers are keen to set up offshore wind facilities in the UK. By backing the 714MW East Anglia 1 and 448MW Neart na Gaoithe in the CfD auction, the government is helping to support jobs created in those factories.

Critics will portray subsidies as unfair support for an inefficient industry, but we prefer to see them as an investment by the government in developing British industry and skills.

And, according to the government’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the investment strategy is working. The Catapult reported last week that the cost of energy from offshore wind farms has dropped 11% over the last five years, and that its aim of getting the cost of energy from offshore wind farms to under £100/MWh is achievable. This is underpinned by evidence from independent consultancies Deloitte and DNV GL.

The focus now is the May election. CfDs are helping to support wind, but we have major doubts whether this support will survive the election. The Conservatives have pledged to end onshore wind subsidies if they win the general election, and they are likely to have a major role in a coalition government.

The next CfD auction is due in the autumn, and we want the government to commit to the process into 2016 and beyond. Wind has dominated this CfD auction round, and we don’t want to see it marginalised after May. Future investment in the UK is at threat.

With some stories you just light the touch paper and stand back.

The UK government’s announcement last Thursday of the projects that have won subsidy support in the first auction in its Contracts for Difference regime is one such story. Twenty-seven projects were awarded CfDs, including 15 onshore wind farms and two offshore.

This has brought out the predictable criticisms of the government for paying out generous subsidies to the wind industry.

These criticisms are bolstered by the National Audit Office, which last June slammed the government's decision to award early CfDs to eight projects last April, at levels higher than those announced in the auction round last week. It may have a point.

But let’s take a step back. This first auction shows the government is making good on its commitments to support the growth of UK renewables, including onshore and offshore wind. It is supporting investment in the sector and the supply chain; and must continue to do so regardless of the result of the election in two months’ time.

This is the message that wind must ram home to the UK's leaders. If it doesn't happen then the UK's standing among wind investors will be further damaged. See today's lead story for more details.

It is absolutely right that the government supports the wind sector in the UK because the country is under pressure to integrate more low-carbon sources into the grid. Wind is a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels, and it enjoys widespread support in the UK despite what prime minister David Cameron and others would tell you.

It also makes sense for the UK to invest in offshore wind because it helps the country to take a global lead in a fledgling industry.

New factories for MHI Vestas and Siemens in the Isle of Wight and Hull respectively show that major manufacturers are keen to set up offshore wind facilities in the UK. By backing the 714MW East Anglia 1 and 448MW Neart na Gaoithe in the CfD auction, the government is helping to support jobs created in those factories.

Critics will portray subsidies as unfair support for an inefficient industry, but we prefer to see them as an investment by the government in developing British industry and skills.

And, according to the government’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the investment strategy is working. The Catapult reported last week that the cost of energy from offshore wind farms has dropped 11% over the last five years, and that its aim of getting the cost of energy from offshore wind farms to under £100/MWh is achievable. This is underpinned by evidence from independent consultancies Deloitte and DNV GL.

The focus now is the May election. CfDs are helping to support wind, but we have major doubts whether this support will survive the election. The Conservatives have pledged to end onshore wind subsidies if they win the general election, and they are likely to have a major role in a coalition government.

The next CfD auction is due in the autumn, and we want the government to commit to the process into 2016 and beyond. Wind has dominated this CfD auction round, and we don’t want to see it marginalised after May. Future investment in the UK is at threat.

With some stories you just light the touch paper and stand back.

The UK government’s announcement last Thursday of the projects that have won subsidy support in the first auction in its Contracts for Difference regime is one such story. Twenty-seven projects were awarded CfDs, including 15 onshore wind farms and two offshore.

This has brought out the predictable criticisms of the government for paying out generous subsidies to the wind industry.

These criticisms are bolstered by the National Audit Office, which last June slammed the government's decision to award early CfDs to eight projects last April, at levels higher than those announced in the auction round last week. It may have a point.

But let’s take a step back. This first auction shows the government is making good on its commitments to support the growth of UK renewables, including onshore and offshore wind. It is supporting investment in the sector and the supply chain; and must continue to do so regardless of the result of the election in two months’ time.

This is the message that wind must ram home to the UK's leaders. If it doesn't happen then the UK's standing among wind investors will be further damaged. See today's lead story for more details.

It is absolutely right that the government supports the wind sector in the UK because the country is under pressure to integrate more low-carbon sources into the grid. Wind is a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels, and it enjoys widespread support in the UK despite what prime minister David Cameron and others would tell you.

It also makes sense for the UK to invest in offshore wind because it helps the country to take a global lead in a fledgling industry.

New factories for MHI Vestas and Siemens in the Isle of Wight and Hull respectively show that major manufacturers are keen to set up offshore wind facilities in the UK. By backing the 714MW East Anglia 1 and 448MW Neart na Gaoithe in the CfD auction, the government is helping to support jobs created in those factories.

Critics will portray subsidies as unfair support for an inefficient industry, but we prefer to see them as an investment by the government in developing British industry and skills.

And, according to the government’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the investment strategy is working. The Catapult reported last week that the cost of energy from offshore wind farms has dropped 11% over the last five years, and that its aim of getting the cost of energy from offshore wind farms to under £100/MWh is achievable. This is underpinned by evidence from independent consultancies Deloitte and DNV GL.

The focus now is the May election. CfDs are helping to support wind, but we have major doubts whether this support will survive the election. The Conservatives have pledged to end onshore wind subsidies if they win the general election, and they are likely to have a major role in a coalition government.

The next CfD auction is due in the autumn, and we want the government to commit to the process into 2016 and beyond. Wind has dominated this CfD auction round, and we don’t want to see it marginalised after May. Future investment in the UK is at threat.

With some stories you just light the touch paper and stand back.

The UK government’s announcement last Thursday of the projects that have won subsidy support in the first auction in its Contracts for Difference regime is one such story. Twenty-seven projects were awarded CfDs, including 15 onshore wind farms and two offshore.

This has brought out the predictable criticisms of the government for paying out generous subsidies to the wind industry.

These criticisms are bolstered by the National Audit Office, which last June slammed the government's decision to award early CfDs to eight projects last April, at levels higher than those announced in the auction round last week. It may have a point.

But let’s take a step back. This first auction shows the government is making good on its commitments to support the growth of UK renewables, including onshore and offshore wind. It is supporting investment in the sector and the supply chain; and must continue to do so regardless of the result of the election in two months’ time.

This is the message that wind must ram home to the UK's leaders. If it doesn't happen then the UK's standing among wind investors will be further damaged. See today's lead story for more details.

It is absolutely right that the government supports the wind sector in the UK because the country is under pressure to integrate more low-carbon sources into the grid. Wind is a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels, and it enjoys widespread support in the UK despite what prime minister David Cameron and others would tell you.

It also makes sense for the UK to invest in offshore wind because it helps the country to take a global lead in a fledgling industry.

New factories for MHI Vestas and Siemens in the Isle of Wight and Hull respectively show that major manufacturers are keen to set up offshore wind facilities in the UK. By backing the 714MW East Anglia 1 and 448MW Neart na Gaoithe in the CfD auction, the government is helping to support jobs created in those factories.

Critics will portray subsidies as unfair support for an inefficient industry, but we prefer to see them as an investment by the government in developing British industry and skills.

And, according to the government’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the investment strategy is working. The Catapult reported last week that the cost of energy from offshore wind farms has dropped 11% over the last five years, and that its aim of getting the cost of energy from offshore wind farms to under £100/MWh is achievable. This is underpinned by evidence from independent consultancies Deloitte and DNV GL.

The focus now is the May election. CfDs are helping to support wind, but we have major doubts whether this support will survive the election. The Conservatives have pledged to end onshore wind subsidies if they win the general election, and they are likely to have a major role in a coalition government.

The next CfD auction is due in the autumn, and we want the government to commit to the process into 2016 and beyond. Wind has dominated this CfD auction round, and we don’t want to see it marginalised after May. Future investment in the UK is at threat.

With some stories you just light the touch paper and stand back.

The UK government’s announcement last Thursday of the projects that have won subsidy support in the first auction in its Contracts for Difference regime is one such story. Twenty-seven projects were awarded CfDs, including 15 onshore wind farms and two offshore.

This has brought out the predictable criticisms of the government for paying out generous subsidies to the wind industry.

These criticisms are bolstered by the National Audit Office, which last June slammed the government's decision to award early CfDs to eight projects last April, at levels higher than those announced in the auction round last week. It may have a point.

But let’s take a step back. This first auction shows the government is making good on its commitments to support the growth of UK renewables, including onshore and offshore wind. It is supporting investment in the sector and the supply chain; and must continue to do so regardless of the result of the election in two months’ time.

This is the message that wind must ram home to the UK's leaders. If it doesn't happen then the UK's standing among wind investors will be further damaged. See today's lead story for more details.

It is absolutely right that the government supports the wind sector in the UK because the country is under pressure to integrate more low-carbon sources into the grid. Wind is a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels, and it enjoys widespread support in the UK despite what prime minister David Cameron and others would tell you.

It also makes sense for the UK to invest in offshore wind because it helps the country to take a global lead in a fledgling industry.

New factories for MHI Vestas and Siemens in the Isle of Wight and Hull respectively show that major manufacturers are keen to set up offshore wind facilities in the UK. By backing the 714MW East Anglia 1 and 448MW Neart na Gaoithe in the CfD auction, the government is helping to support jobs created in those factories.

Critics will portray subsidies as unfair support for an inefficient industry, but we prefer to see them as an investment by the government in developing British industry and skills.

And, according to the government’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the investment strategy is working. The Catapult reported last week that the cost of energy from offshore wind farms has dropped 11% over the last five years, and that its aim of getting the cost of energy from offshore wind farms to under £100/MWh is achievable. This is underpinned by evidence from independent consultancies Deloitte and DNV GL.

The focus now is the May election. CfDs are helping to support wind, but we have major doubts whether this support will survive the election. The Conservatives have pledged to end onshore wind subsidies if they win the general election, and they are likely to have a major role in a coalition government.

The next CfD auction is due in the autumn, and we want the government to commit to the process into 2016 and beyond. Wind has dominated this CfD auction round, and we don’t want to see it marginalised after May. Future investment in the UK is at threat.

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Full archive access is available to members only

Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.