Tidal

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Octopus Energy Group has added £3.4 billion worth of renewable energy projects to its portfolio with the acquisition of sister company Octopus Renewables. From June the large retailer will manage Octopus Renewables’ European portfolio of more than 300 green assets under new business arm Octopus Energy Generation. Chris Hulatt, co-founder of Octopus Group, the parent company of both businesses, said he hoped the move would unlock a “multitude of new investment opportunities”.
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Crown Estate Scotland has raised the maximum option fees for its ScotWind offshore wind leasing round by ten-fold to £100,000/km². The decision follows a review of the arrangements that was launched after the winners in the Crown Estate’s fourth offshore wind leasing round for England and Wales agreed to pay option fees initially worth £879 million per year for almost 8GW of capacity its first competitive bidding process.
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Latest in Tidal

Scottish company Orbital Marine Power has completed the construction of a 2MW floating tidal turbine. The 680-tonne turbine was loaded from the Port of Dundee onto a submersible barge in the River Tay earlier today and will now be towed to the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney for commissioning.
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Interconnector capacity between England and Scotland must be quadrupled over the next decade to match up growing supply north of the border to where demand is greatest, a former energy minister has warned. Charles Hendry, who was minister of state for energy from 2010 to 2012, warned the UK and Scottish governments they must develop a much more “common” approach to energy.
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Low-carbon generation fell year on year in the last quarter, on the back of widespread nuclear outages and a “relatively small” increase in renewable output, according to new government statistics.
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Kwasi Kwarteng has revealed that he is “very sympathetic” to giving wave and tidal energy its own “baby pot” within the Contracts for Difference auction process. However, the energy minister acknowledged that there is an issue, particularly within the Treasury, about the higher upfront costs of supporting marine technology.
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The government has announced it is working with National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) to explore how best to enable electric vehicles to take part in the Capacity Market. In an open letter to stakeholders, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said it has also asked the ESO to look into the development of de-rating factors for geothermal and tidal generation.
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The introduction of a three-pot structure for future Contracts for Difference auctions means they are effectively “no longer technologically neutral”, an analyst has told Utility Week. James Brabben, wholesale manager for Cornwall Insight, said the decision is nevertheless the right one given the government’s commitment to build 40GW of offshore wind by 2030.
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The government has confirmed key details of the fourth Contracts for Difference auction, to open in late 2021. The auction’s capacity will increase from 5.8GW in 2019 to 12GW, with offshore wind moved to its own pot. Floating offshore wind projects will be able to bid for contracts for the first time, while onshore wind and solar will be allowed to compete once again. The government has also launched a consultation on a Supply Chain Plan, aimed at “increasing the competitiveness of UK manufacturers”.
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The Welsh Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry into how the UK Government can best support the development of the principality’s renewable energy resources.
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Utility Week’s policy correspondent David Blackman discusses the implications on the utilities sector of Boris Johnson’s plan for a “green industrial revolution”. He assesses the winners and losers from the speech, as well as the areas where question marks remain.
Analysis
Regina Finn, Ofwat’s first chief executive and now chair of the Low Carbon Contracts Company, talks to Utility Week about her career and the future of Contracts for Difference. She discusses the role of auctions for emerging technologies, starting with next year’s bumper round and whether they could extend beyond the power sector. She also gives her view on how regulation should reflect the net-zero journey.
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