Onshore repowering can benefit wider economy. Earlier this year the UK Government announced that onshore wind would be eligible to compete in the fourth Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocation round in 2021, a welcome outcome which will help ensure onshore developments will play a prominent role in the ‘green recovery.’ The CfD announcement is a positive step forward and should only be viewed as the beginning of enhanced Government support for UK renewables which has an opportunity to become an economic powerhouse. According to Thrive Renewables, a key renewable energy investor, with increased governmental support 45,000 new jobs could be created in renewables, with the potential to inject £28.9bn. Repowering involves either extending the life of the existing turbines on operational wind farm sites or, more commonly, removing existing turbines and replacing them with entirely new machinery. In weighing up whether either of these options is viable, developers must consider a number of important factors including costs, planning, land, public perception, environmental impact and technical requirements. Repowering projects involving new, technologically improved turbines on existing sites will incur increased capital expenditure and decommissioning costs but this can be offset by significantly increased capacity and energy yield. Using new turbines with higher tip heights can, however, impact the visual amenity of a project and potentially create opposition from local communities or other anti-wind farm groups.
Energy Voice 22nd Sept 2020 read more »