Each 1.8 GW of new gas generation capacity could be replaced by 1.7 GW of solar as part of a cleaner, 6.3 GW collection of renewables and energy storage facilities–and that alternative already comes in cheaper than the business-as-usual approach, according to the Carbon Tracker thinktank.
The announcement by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of an auction which will include solar next year appears to back prime minister Boris Johnson’s claims to be serious about the nation’s net-zero carbon ambition.
The Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition’s long-term auction was organized by grid operator RTE under the French capacity procurement mechanism. Storage accounted for 253 MW of the capacity assigned in the auction, which was open to all decarbonizing technologies.
The bickering around the British Capacity Market is not over yet. The European Commission has closed its formal investigation into the market mechanism’s alleged violation of EU State Aid rules, finding no violations of that kind. But footing the bill for the year-long suspension of the scheme might prove complicated.
An energy finance consultant from the international thinktank has added his voice to demands Theresa May, or her successor, spell out exactly how the decarbonization target will be met, and cited failings on solar as a warning on how not to proceed.
Although the nation’s PV industry has recently established new landmarks, warnings have been sounded about the immediate outlook for the sector.
The asset manager has seen good returns on the 70 MW it has already acquired. Despite the U.K. government cutting subsidies for renewable energy, the fund manager believes the country will be a high growth market for storage.
All round, it has been an interesting week for the U.K. to say the least, and the energy sector was no exception. In addition to the country’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (PRASEG) organizing a debate on the Capacity Market; a forum in London discussed grid operator’s flexibility; and a new report was released claiming a hard Brexit would add millions to consumer electricity bills.
Solar PV, battery storage and artificial intelligence systems are at the core of a new utility model presented yesterday in London. pv magazine attended the launch event.
With Theresa May’s government in full scale revolt this week over Brexit, the ECJ’s ruling that the European Commission wrongly failed to find fault with the UK capacity market mechanism four years ago, is likely to have Brexiteers on both sides of parliament frothing at the mouth with indignation.
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