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Renewable energy firms call for access to government power auctions

Words: Huw Morris
Wind farm / Shutterstock_110242874

Fourteen major renewable energy companies have written to the government asking for onshore wind operations to take part in auctions for contracts to generate cheap, clean electricity. 

Onshore wind is currently excluded from competing against other technologies in government-backed power auctions, even though it is the cheapest way of generating new power.

Moreover, say the companies, at least three-quarters of the public support the technology, according to the government’s own opinion polls.

In a joint letter to business, energy and industrial strategy secretary Greg Clark they state that “new onshore wind power can be secured at a subsidy-free price”. But companies need the certainty provided by contracts to recoup the investment required and guarantee its financial viability. 

They offer to “deliver the new onshore wind capacity required to help the UK Government meet its climate goals, and provide low-carbon power that will keep consumer bills down”, claiming that auctions between 2019 and 2025 would provide a payback to consumers of £1.6 billion.

Onshore wind could deliver 18,000 skilled construction jobs, 8,500 long-term skilled jobs and stimulate supply chain investment, resulting in 70 per cent UK content in projects, the letter adds.

The letter was signed by project developers ScottishPower Renewables, SSE, innogy, Statkraft, and Vattenfall, along with supply chain companies Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Vestas, CS Wind, RJ McLeod, Farrans Construction, AE Yates, REG Power Management, Athena PTS and RSK.

RenewableUK’s executive director Emma Pinchbeck said: We trust the secretary of state will take account of the views of these major UK employers who are offering to build subsidy-free projects as part of the clean energy system of the future. His department’s opinion polls consistently highlight the overwhelming level of public support for onshore wind. New onshore wind would be a triple win for consumers, the environment and UK businesses.”

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