Wind

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An uncertain future for the wind sector could slow the rapid reduction in costs seen recently, the head of Wind Europe has warned. Chief executive Giles Dickson said Europe is expected to install almost 90GW of new wind capacity over the next five years but there is “a big risk we fall well below that” if problems persist.
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A report by Carbon Brief found that electricity generated by renewable sources overtook fossil fuels in Q3 2019, the first time since the Industrial Revolution. Increased wind capacity was largely to thank for the increase.
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Greencoat says construction of the windfarm is expected to be completed in 2021. The transaction between UKW and Innogy will be completed once construction is finished.
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The government has confirmed key details of the fourth Contracts for Difference auctions, 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 identifying “increasing the competitiveness of UK manufacturers”.
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In our latest industry appointment round-up Bulb poaches another EasyJet executive to bolster its senior team, while Octopus Energy has appointed a chief executive to launch its German division. Meanwhile, the Offshore Wind Industry Council has announced the appointment of a new co-chair.
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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
SSE’s chief executive has told Utility Week the company is “moving forward” with a full or partial sale of its 33.3 per cent stake in gas distribution network SGN. Alistair Phillips-Davies was speaking on the back of the company’s half-year results.
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The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG) has agreed to buy a 14.3 per cent stake in the newly completed East Anglia One offshore windfarm from the Green Investment Group (GIG) for an undisclosed price. It negotiated the deal in partnership with the InfraRed European Infrastructure Income Fund 4, which will also acquire a 5.7 per cent stake in the installation from GIG.
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Labour has proposed at least £30 billion of investment in low-carbon sectors in the next 18 months. The party criticised regulatory barriers holding back investment in offshore wind and insisted Contracts for Difference auctions should be held every year to speed up and smooth out the delivery of projects.
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Lloyds Bank head of power and utilities Seung-Yun Oxley discusses the role of finance in helping to achieve the UK’s wind ambitions after prime minster Boris Johnson pledged to power every home across Britain using electricity from offshore windfarms.
Opinion
Utility Week’s Tom Grimwood runs through the events of last week which saw National Grid issue two separate warnings over expected shortfalls in electricity supply and asks whether they are merely the odd blip or the sign of a deeper problem.
Analysis
While unable to provide a commitment that the next Queen’s Speech would include steps to facilitate an offshore network, the energy minister told Parliament that any upcoming legislation from his department “must include” the regulation of the offshore grid.
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The government’s plans to prevent future Contracts for Difference winners from receiving top-up payments when power prices fall below zero may have “significant unintended consequences”, Frontier Economics has warned. The consultancy said the use of the day-ahead market as a reference price would create an artificial incentive for generators to sell their power on the intraday and balancing markets. Utility Week speaks to the report's co-author Dan Roberts.
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The government must guarantee a contracted additional 20GW of offshore wind over the next four years, according to a broad-based coalition of charities. The Climate Coalition has set out a ten-point plan ahead of Boris Johnson’s update on his green industrial revolution plan, which is expected next week
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