RenewableUK makes the case for wind and marine energy to BEIS Select Committee
16 January 2018
Posted by: Rob Norris
RenewableUK has given evidence to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee on the cost-effectiveness on wind, wave and tidal energy, as part of their inquiry into the Cost of Energy Review conducted by Professor Dieter Helm.
RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck told the Committee: An energy system led by renewables is the lowest cost option for the UK. I'd bet my house on renewables. A smart energy system can deliver consumers savings of £8bn a year between now and 2030.
Questioned by the Committee on how consumers can benefit from the rapid falls we have seen in the cost of renewables, Miss Pinchbeck said: “Competitive auctions for CfDs are the best way to lock in low-cost energy for consumers, with offshore wind delivering cost reductions unprecedented in any other sector.
Miss Pinchbeck noted that while the review is focused on future, there are actions which could be taken now to reduce costs and provide certainty, saying: “It’s important to back the Government in taking another look at onshore wind and start running a pot 1 auction. That would deliver onshore wind at under £50 per megawatt hour - cheaper than gas. It's extraordinary that onshore wind isn't allowed to compete for CfDs. Government could clarify how the £557m of funding for pot 2 CfD auctions is going to be spent, as that will help the supply chain to gear up.
“There is no certainty at the moment for small and medium wind and other small-scale, decentralised technologies beyond 2019. There was supposed to be a Feed-in-Tariff consultation last year, but it’s been delayed.
Miss Pinchbeck highlighted the Helm Review’s failure to recognise the fact that energy policy can contribute to wider economic, industrial and regional development: “New projects have brought investment in regions across the UK - with £18bn more to come over the next 5 years. Those wider industrial benefits should be recognised. 90% of this investment is being spent outside the south-east of England, in areas where it’s needed most to create jobs. More than 50% of RenewableUK’s members are supply chain companies and we’re exporting worldwide.
Questioned on how new and innovative technologies can be developed in the UK, RenewableUK’s Executive Director said: “We also need to look at technologies where there is potential for cost reduction to compete in the market, where there is a global demand for those technologies, and where the UK has existing skills and resources. Wave and tidal energy are examples of those technologies – they need a route to market. The debate about the next round of energy policy for the 2020s has started.”
For further information, please contact:
Luke Clark, Head of External Affairs 0207 901 3037 or 07973 481 907 Luke.Clark@RenewableUK.com
Robert Norris, Head of Communications, 0207 901 3013 or 07969 229 913 Robert.Norris@RenewableUK.com
RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the wind, wave and tidal energy industries. Formed in 1978, and with more than 400 corporate members, RenewableUK is the country’s leading renewable energy trade association. We are celebrating our 40th anniversary this year.