Wind energy investment falls as costs come down

Investors received “more capacity for less cash” during 2017 as the cost of installing wind turbines fell.

Figures from trade body WindEurope revealed that investment in wind energy fell by 16% in 2017 to €22.3 billion (£19.7bn).

A total of €14.8bn was invested in onshore wind and a further €7.5bn in offshore projects.

Europe added a record 15.7GW of capacity to take its total to 169GW, with 12.5GW onshore and 3.1GW offshore.

Uncertain outlook

But Giles Dickson, Chief Executive at...

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Renewable energy firms warned over cyber-security threat

Large-scale grid blackouts, damage to infrastructure and loss of commercial data are just some of the threats to renewable energy projects highlighted by a new cyber-security report.

The Renewables Consulting Group (RCG) and cyber-security specialist Cylance highlighted the threat from ransomware, file-less attacks and Trojans.

The report outlined steps that need to be taken, including physical security, hardware and software, internet connectivity, remote management, and training personnel.


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‘Broken’ energy market justifies price cap say MPs

Imposing a price cap is justified because the domestic energy market is “broken”, according to the House of Commons’ Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee.

In a report into the UK Government’s plans to introduce a price cap, the MPs concluded that 12 million customers were being penalised for staying loyal to their current energy company.

It said that customers on standard variable tariffs (SVTs) were paying up to £300 more than they needed to for their power.


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National Grid consults on system operator role

The first forward plan has been produced by National Grid’s Electricity System Operator (ESO) function, which is being carved out as a separate company from the transmission owner.

A consultation has been launched on the plan, which lays out the ESO’s priorities for 2018-19.

Changes are proposed in four main areas:

● flexibility – making it easier for balancing services to be offered to the ESO;

● network competition – considering greater use of distribution networks and battery storage...

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20/02/2018 - Sector Round Up

Wind farm switches to community ownership

Three renewable energy cooperatives have completed the purchase of the 6.9MW Mean Moor wind farm in Cumbria.

The three organisations – Baywind Energy, Energy Prospects and High Winds Community Energy Society – completed the deal under the banner of the Energy4All family of co-ops and received interim financial support from ethical investment company Thrive Renewables.

More than 400 contributors raised £2.8 million in just two weeks to fund the...

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Energy supply achieves biggest reduction in carbon emissions

A fall in the amount of coal burned to generate electricity contributed to a 6% reduction in the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions during 2016, according to the latest official statistics.

The power supply sector reported a 17% fall in total greenhouse gas emissions – larger than any other group of emitters – with a rise in output from gas-fired power stations and renewable energy projects.

But the transport sector posted another 2% rise in emissions, on top of 2015’s 2% increase.

Transport now...

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Capacity market T-4 auction sees record low clearing price

The Capacity Market T-4 auction cleared at £8.40/kW/year, a significant fall from the £22.50/kW seen last year.

The auction secured 50.4GW of capacity for Winter 2021/2022, with existing generation winning the lion’s share.

The biggest winners were existing CCGT gas (23GW) and nuclear (7.9GW), and interconnectors also fared well with 4.6GW of capacity, including 2.15GW of new build.

Pre-auction expectations around the clearing price from industry experts had ranged from £25/kW/year to...

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Low cost renewables key to reducing industry bills

Electricity prices for industrial users can be brought down if the UK Government removes barriers for mature renewables, according to a new report.

A paper compiled by University College London for the Aldersgate Group outlined six key policy recommendations:

● removing barriers to investment in mature renewable energy projects, given that technologies like onshore wind no longer need subsidy and resuming the carbon price escalator;

● encouraging greater co-ordination between investments in...

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Offshore wind generation leaps 25% in 2017

Renewable energy developers installed enough turbines to generate 3.1GW of offshore wind power during 2017, taking the sector’s total capacity to 15.8GW.

The increase market a record 25% rise in capacity.

A total of 13 offshore wind farms were completed, with the UK accounting for 1.7GW of the total and Germany chalking up a 1.3GW increase.

A further 11 wind farms are currently under construction, which together are scheduled to add a further 2.9GW of capacity.

‘Spectacular’ increase

Giles ...

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BP to invest $500m a year in low-carbon businesses

Oil giant BP has unveiled plans to invest $500 million (£359m) each year in low-carbon businesses.

Deputy Chief Executive Lemar McKay said that the company wanted to make further acquisitions to strengthen its alternative energy division.

Low-carbon power generation and energy storage are at the top of the firm’s shopping list.

Chief Executive Bob Dudley added: “We are embracing the energy transition, seeking new opportunities in a changing, lower-carbon world.”

BP and Shell compete in...

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