Falck Renewables chief: ‘there has never been a better time’ to acquire UK onshore wind projects in the UK

The UK is set for acquisitions in its pipeline of onshore wind farm projects, despite uncertainty over Brexit and the government’s lack of support for the technology. That’s the view of Falck Renewables chief executive Toni Volpe. He told New Power in an interview: “the UK has never been at a better moment, because at the moment the pipeline is scratching their heads and some people are selling. It’s good money if you have a long-term view and want to acquire a pipeline.”
He says, at Falck “I won’t say we are bombarded but we do have a lot of developers coming to talk to us, asking how they can keep projects alive. But it’s a one-by-one evaluation and we are not the only ones looking.” Volpe told New Power that he did not fear Brexit uncertainty because “In the long run we don’t see the UK go up and down. In one sense it only goes up. That’s because, essentially, this is a country that needs more power. It’s a country that is actually closing coal-fired power plants. It’s one of the few examples of a carbon tax that works. The commitment is strong and it has been confirmed.”

The customer-centric energy web

Volpe sees energy relationships changing dramatically. In the past, energy supply followed a straight line: “Beside the generation and trading of energy you have supply and transmission companies and each did one thing”. Now, he says, “it is not sequential any more”. In fact, it is more like a web. “The customer has generation, balancing and availability. You can make different choices.”

He thinks that the industry and its many long-serving members do not always see how it is changing. “People have not realised that things have changed and it’s purely driven by data, technology and software.” He compares it with transport: “The car has been around for a while, but with a smartphone and GPS Uber has become a business model. We will look at how that space can be interesting for us.”
That is one reason why Europe and the UK remains a target market: it’s because “There are innovators, there are startups. It’s a very crowded market but the renewables space is crowded everywhere.”

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Further reading: The Internet of Things: utilities warned they may lose the customer relationship

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