COMPANIES around Europe have signed almost 5GW of power purchase agreements (PPAs) with wind farms – almost equivalent to the total wind energy capacity of Denmark and enough to power 35 million homes. PPAs were only launched in 2014 and, although they were mostly in the ICT sector, others are following suit, according to WindEurope, the voice of the industry. The agreements give industrial customers long-term energy supplies at fixed prices and although most are for around 15 years, Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro signed a 29-year deal in 2018 with a company in Sweden. In Scotland, Telecoms group BT has five PPAs, all related to ICT, and Mars, Nestle, HSBC and Sainsbury’s all have one apiece. Environmental campaign group, WWF Scotland, welcome the rise in PPAs. Gina Hanrahan, its head of policy, said: “We know that big businesses in Scotland understand the risks of dangerous climate change and the financial benefits of tackling it. Shareholders and customers are demanding action. That’s why it’s fantastic to see more and more companies opting to go green by purchasing renewable power directly. “This is helping to cut bills and provide clear routes to market for renewable energy projects.” The PPA news came a week after WWF released a report from Vivid Economics, which showed that Scotland had multiple options to end its climate emissions by 2045.
The National 31st Jan 2019 read more »
Dave Elliott: Renewables are doing quite well in the UK, supplying around 33% of the nation’s electricity, but there are worries whether the energy transition can continue. Business Green’s editor recently said: “The policy framework that delivered the first phase of this historic transition is fast running out of road…those ministers hailing the success of the UK’s clean energy transition have been dining out on the policy decisions made by their predecessors. Since 2015 there has been a steady erosion of this policy framework”. That’s pretty much what I also say in my new book on UK renewables policy, although I argue that the problems started much further back. A long way back – there’s been a long history of errors, backtracking and lost opportunities. With the UK nuclear programme now in tatters, the issue of what to do next takes on a new urgency. Renewables are waiting in the wings to help. RenewableUK says that around 4.5 GW of onshore wind projects already have local planning permission but have been blocked from CfD support. SSE’s CEO has argued that we need to be more ambitious about offshore wind. PV solar can also be expanded. Wave and tidal power need more support. So does biomass anaerobic digestion (AD) and combined heat and power (CHP). As the head of the National Infrastructure Commission has said, all of that — and much else — needs revisiting and a new approach. Hopefully, it will be more coherent and effective than those in the past.
Physics World 30th Jan 2019 read more »