£57.50! Offshore wind for 2022/23 ……… job done …. not exactly …… what was the job again…?
Yes it is a great demonstration that the CfD mechanism has delivered …. something ……. for the UK economy……. but WHAT has it delivered?
Well, firstly, a halving in price in just over 2 years …good; secondly a multi-billion pound industry with great benefits for the UK supply chain – good; thirdly a new, home-grown industry with manufacturing, jobs and profits all retained in UK and with the knowledge and expertise anchored here which can become a strong, post brexit, high growth, exporting industry ? …… well NO – all of that was lost to UK when we failed to carry on supporting the development of the turbines just a few short years ago……..
But we can learn from that ……… the next 2 big off shore technology sectors that will dominate the energy business worldwide are happening right here off the UK coast – floating wind and tidal energy and the third, the much larger but harder to crack wave sector is “anchored” here too!
Easy then – the CfD works – let’s get these sectors in there – support these industries, grow and anchor them here and we can be the world leader in generating clean energy from the world’s oceans.
But NO ….. it seems the lesson the UK takes from the success of the CfD in driving down costs for offshore wind is that no other technology will get as low (this notwithstanding that not even the most ardent, optimistic proponents of the sector would have predicted the £57.50 price even 2 years ago) – so they must just fight on for every scrap of funding they can secure from anywhere and try to build these industries as best they can.
Here’s a thought – move offshore wind to pot 1 (it should have been there already – how can a sector that can get £500m at less than 3% be regarded as “emerging”?) – and reserve pot 2 for real emerging technology like off shore floating wind, tidal and wave energy. If we don’t – the signs are there – the French tidal round will attract the leading technologies – including those currently based in the UK – and (just guessing here) it seems likely they may become quite French – quite quickly.
Some positive developments …..
– the Clean Growth Strategy published by BEIS 0n 12th October 2017, the Scottish Governments suite of measures including the Energy Strategy and Climate Change provisions will de carbonise the economy and drive activity and investment and wind projects on the remote islands of Scotland that directly benefit local communities will be eligible for the next Pot 2 auction; can we avoid them bidding against one another…..?
………… thoughts from Deja Blue