Fourteen major renewable energy companies have written a joint letter to Greg Clark, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, asking him to give onshore wind an opportunity to take part in Contracts for Difference auctions.
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 sent the letter. They say that “new onshore wind power can be secured at a subsidy-free price” but that the signatories need the certainty provided by contracts to generate power in order to recoup the investment required to develop and build them, to ensure they are financially viable.
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, and more than three-quarters of the public support the technology according to the government’s own opinion polls. The companies say that resuming Contract for Difference auctions for onshore wind between 2019 and 2025 would provide a payback to consumers of £1.6 billion.
They say that onshore wind has the potential to deliver 18,000 skilled construction jobs, 8,500 long-term skilled jobs and stimulate supply chain investment, “resulting in 70% UK content in projects”.
Emma Pinchbeck, RenewableUK’s executive director, 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”.