A new report, ‘The Power of Onshore Wind” from renewable energy consultants BVG Associates (BVGA) has demonstrated that awarding contracts for 5 gigawatts (GW) of new onshore wind power between 2019 and 2025 could deliver a net payback to UK consumers of £1.6 billion.
The analysis considers five newContract for Difference (CfD) auctions held from 2019 and at 18 month intervals thereafter. Each has a maximum capacity of 1GW.
Forecasts show that the costs of new onshore wind projects will drop beneath the Government’s forecast wholesale electricity price from 2023, delivering a net benefit for UK electricity consumers.
The report is supported by ScottishPower Renewables, Vattenfall, innogy and Statkraft. It has been issued to coincide with the first ever Onshore Wind Week in the UK, which will see a range of events held across the country.
Over the five auctions it is expected that 86% of the projects by capacity will be built in Scotland and 12% in Wales.Less than 2% will be built in England made up of small scale projects (sub 50MW) of a type typically developed by communities.
Around 18,000 skilled jobs will be supported during the peak years of construction, with 8,500 people employed in long-term skilled jobs when all the wind farms are operating.
A clear commitment to five auctions would stimulate supply chain investment, increasing the already high proportion of UK content in projects to almost 70%. The biggest opportunities are in fabricating towers and blades, part refurbishment and the development of UK installation teams.
It is anticipated that 60% of the jobs will be created in Scotland, 17% in Wales and 23% in England (where many HQs are located)
Guy Mortimer, Vattenfall’s UK head of onshore wind development, said: “The UK Government has identified clean growth as a Grand Challenge for the future. With political support, onshore wind, as evidence from the BVG report confirms, will rise to meet that challenge, lowering bills for British households and creating interesting and inspiring jobs for British workers.”
Tanya Davies, Head of Onshore Wind Development, innogy Renewables UK: “The evidence is clear, not only can Onshore Wind enable the UK to meet its climate goals more cost efficiently to the benefit of consumers, it also offers huge opportunities for the wider UK economy. It’s now time to allow Onshore Wind to participate in future auctions”.
Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “Onshore wind is the cheapest form of new build electricity generation available in the UK today, and statistics show that it is supported by over three-quarters of the British public. The Government can benefit from cheap, green and clean energy to deliver the Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth Plan by supporting onshore wind as well.”
David Flood Managing Director of Statkraft UK said: “This report shows there is still a large potential for new onshore wind in Scotland and Wales, which could deliver power at a beneficial cost for consumers and also underpin a positive economic development with thousands of new skilled jobs in the industry and supply chain. Government commitment to future CfD auctions is required for these benefits to be realised.”
Bruce Valpy, Managing Director at BVGA said: “It is good to get these messages into the public domain. As the onshore wind industry moves ‘subsidy free’, recognising its role in job and value creation in local neighbourhoods is important. In the UK, we need to build a sustainable electricity mix that plays to our strengths in terms of natural resources and capable workforce.”
The full report can be found at https://bvgassociates.com/the-power-of-onshore-wind/