The giant Hornsea Project Two wind farm off the coast of Yorkshire is on track to become the world’s largest offshore wind project, after Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark today granted development consent to the 1.8GW project. The development consent follows a recommendation from the Planning Inspectorate for the project to be approved, paving the way for a final investment decision from developer DONG Energy. When complete, the £6bn project is expected to see up to 300 turbines provide clean power to around 1.8 million UK homes. It is also expected to create up to 1,960 construction jobs and 580 operational and maintenance jobs centred on the Humber region. Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said approval for the project underlined the government’s ongoing commitment to the offshore wind sector. The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy added that the government was making £730m of financial support available to renewable energy projects during this parliament, which should help result in 10GW of offshore wind capacity being installed by the end of the decade. Ministers have also indicated that a further 10GW of offshore wind capacity could be delivered during the 2020s if costs come down to below £100/MWh as expected. DONG Energy and other developers have expressed confidence levelised costs of under £100/MWh can be delivered by the end of the decade thanks to larger turbines, improved operations and maintenance processes, economies of scale, and new foundations. The developer also announced recently that its latest offshore wind farms off the Dutch coast are expected to deliver power at a record low cost of €72.70/MWh. The latest milestone for the UK’s offshore wind industry came as new research from influential analyst firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) suggested renewable technologies could comfortable undercut the proposed Hinkley Point nuclear project on a levelised cost basis. The analysis detailed how for the same capital cost as the Hinkley Point project the UK could install around 830 offshore wind turbines, capable of delivering double the capacity and the same level of power as the nuclear project. The research offers a boost to those offshore wind developers who have argued in recent weeks that they stand ready to tackle any energy gap that may result if the government’s opts to shelve the controversial Hinkley Point project. However, the analysis only compares the capital cost of different new energy projects and does not consider differing operating costs and the cost associated with managing intermittent renewable power supplies. The Committee on Climate Change has estimated the cost of managing intermittency could add between £10 and £20/MWh to the cost of renewables projects, although some experts warn costs and technical challenges could increase as renewables makes up a larger share of the grid. “Hinkley Point C is competitive with all other forms of low carbon electricity generation,” a spokesman for EDF told Bloomberg. “The price of 92.50 pounds per megawatt-hour for Hinkley Point’s output compares to an average of 123 pounds per megawatt-hour for renewable schemes in the early 2020s without including the extra costs of their intermittency. Recent contracts for offshore wind were agreed at an average of 137 pounds per megawatt-hour.”
Business Green 16th Aug 2016 read more »
Guardian 16th Aug 2016 read more »
Jonathan Marshall, an analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, a think-tank, said the move showed the UK had carved out a role as a global leader in some energy technologies, “despite the muddle over the new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point”. “The government’s backing of offshore wind gives the energy sector some of the certainty that has been sorely lacking recently,” he said. Environmental groups said the approval of the Hornsea wind farm underlined the potential of modern green energy options. “This is yet another nail in the coffin for the rationale for Hinkley power station,” said Doug Parr of Greenpeace.
FT 16th Aug 2016 read more »
The UK government has today granted planning approval for the world’s largest offshore wind turbine energy parc, which will be built about 60 miles off the east coast of England. Dong Energy’s Hornsea-2 development will have a capacity of up to 1.8 gigawatts (GW) and will consist of up to 300 turbines. It could meet the electricity needs of approximately 1.6 million UK homes per year. The Danish company has already secured planning permission for the adjacent 1.2 GW Hornsea-1 development. Together at 3-GW, the two wind energy parcs would have a similar capacity to the British government’s proposed new Hinkley C nuclear energy project. The government said its next round of renewable funding will focus on offshore wind and has said around 10 GW of capacity could be installed by the end of the decade.
Scottish Energy News 16th Aug 2016 read more »