Renewables pipeline swells to over 24.7GW

Latest figures from the Renewable Energy Planning Database revealed that the total capacity of renewable energy and storage projects across England, Scotland and Wales classed as ‘awaiting construction’ or ‘under construction’ stands at 24.7GW of the total pipeline capacity. The majority of this is classed as ‘awaiting construction’.

Further research into these figures by Cornwall Insight highlights that just over 15GW of projects are classed as awaiting construction. This figure assumes the majority of offshore wind projects will be looking to secure a deal through the Contracts for Difference scheme or be developed as extensions to existing sites, but other technologies including onshore wind and solar which do not have access to the scheme are currently searching for subsidy-free routes to market options.

Lucy Dolton, Analyst at Cornwall Insight, said:

“There is little surprise that so much of the total pipeline is awaiting construction – due to the underlying political uncertainty coupled with the lack of available support schemes, dampening investors’ confidence.

“While large numbers of projects will need to seek subsidy-free routes to market, only a handful have publicly confirmed route to market plans. Presently, utility power purchase agreements (PPAs) remain the leading option, but this may change in 2020 as new business models emerge to meet the needs of subsidy-free generators.

“With rising media attention surrounding the climate crisis and market innovations such as building basket PPAs for consortia, we can expect growth in Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPA) deals. However, these alone will not be enough to meet the needs of all generators in the pipeline.”