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Chart of the Week


Turning on the tap: the renewables pipeline

The updated Renewable Energy Planning Database (REPD) was issued on 15 July. This tracks progress of new renewables projects through the planning system. The data is often used to quantify the pipeline of new renewables capacity that could come forward. Of course, the data cannot be entirely relied upon to give a wholly accurate view of future renewables deployment, but it is widely used across the industry as a good indicator. Our chart gives the capacity of onshore wind and solar PV recorded in the REPD with each box showing capacity granted planning consent (but where construction has not started) between support scheme closure announcements. It is reasonable to infer that capacity with planning consent granted before official announcements of scheme closures would have been projects originally seeking subsidy, and perhaps are now less likely to come forward. Furthermore, the capacity currently seeking planning consent since it was known no support for onshore wind is available is sufficient to meet the capacity projections in National Grid’s latest Future Energy Scenarios up to 2025. For solar PV however, the project pipeline is falling significantly behind projections. The situation looks stark when considering that of the planned 509MW of solar PV capacity, 350MW is dominated by a single application. Although planning consent and applications are only one element required to call forward new scale renewables, we envisage the primary hurdle for this 8.3GW of onshore wind and solar PV pipeline in planning will be securing a workable route to market to finance ...

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