Photo: Dan McGrail (Courtesy of RenewableUK)

RenewableUK calls on the government to scale up clean power ambitions

RenewableUK’s new chief executive Dan McGrail has urged the UK Ministers to demonstrate greater ambition in the next round of auctions for contracts to generate clean electricity.

Photo showing Dan McGrail (Courtesy of RenewableUK)
Dan McGrail (Courtesy of RenewableUK)

The Government has set a cap of 12GW for the fourth round of auctions for contracts for difference (CfDs) which opens in December and will conclude in the first half of the next year.

McGrail is urging Ministers to raise the cap to at least 15GW, which would mean a 25% increase in capacity.

Over 14GW of clean energy capacity sourced from wind, solar, marine power and other innovative technologies is already eligible to compete in this year’s auction, and that could rise to over 23GW by the end of the year – including over 16GW of wind – if the immediate pipelines of projects currently seeking planning approval are consented in a timely manner, RenewableUK said.

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As a key step to maximise deployment, McGrail is also calling for CfD auctions to be held annually from 2023 onwards, rather than once every two years, to maintain a constant, steady flow of new projects.

According to RenewableUK, this will help to smooth out deployment, build up the UK supply chain and enable further cost reductions.

McGrail, who took up his post in May, said: “Accelerating the speed and scale of the energy transition is vital, starting this year with a more ambitious auction to secure 25% more clean energy capacity, and moving to annual auctions as soon as possible. The Government has said it wants to build back better after the pandemic and public support for renewables is sky-high.

” As the UK is hosting the biggest international climate change summit for years in Glasgow in November, there will never be a better moment to kickstart the Prime Minister’s Green Industrial Revolution.

“Renewable energy has a key role in levelling up, creating manufacturing jobs in parts of the country which need new opportunities. This year alone, we’ve seen a series of landmark announcements including of a new offshore wind turbine blade factory on Teesside, a turbine foundation factory on Humberside and a new plant to make giant transition pieces for offshore wind turbines in Newcastle.

“This is the start of a decade of delivery – the renewable energy sector is a major engine of job creation in the 2020s”.