The UK government has announced the reinstatement of 'Pot 1' technologies – which includes onshore wind and solar PV - in the next Contracts for Difference (CfD) Allocation Round 4 (AR4) in 2021.
Courtesy of NREL
Cornwall Insight has highlighted how competitive the the AR4 auction could be, especially between 'Pot 1' technologies, via the company’s Renewable Pipeline tracker. The resulting calculations show that 13 GW could be eligible, split between 5.5 GW of of 'Pot 1' technologies, 6 GW of offshore wind and a smaller proportion of around1.0 GW for 'Pot 2' technologies, with a significant proportion being Remote Island Wind (RIW).
“The results are revealing not just from a commercial perspective but on the interactions of wider policy and network charging” said James Brabben Wholesale Manager at Cornwall Insight. “The onshore wind capacity totals 4.2 GW, a high figure considering around 13 GW in operation currently. Of this, over 3.8 GW is in Scotland, highlighting the continued concentration of sites here. Scotland is also home to all of the RIW pipeline, which totals 900 MW. Dominating this is the potential 450 MW Viking wind farm development on the Shetland Isles. With offshore wind carved into a separate 'Pot 3', RIW projects could be in a more competitive position when compared to previous auctions. Although the auction is set to be a competitive one, the location of potential applications may cause other issues such as high Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) costs for larger sites in Scotland, differences in load factors and site conditions and wider financing and strategic factors at play from project sponsors. The pipeline may also change as we head through to 2021. Particularly as some sites continue to look at subsidy-free and merchant options instead, while new sites may also join the queue for the CfD.”
The heat map below shows the concentration of the potential successful projects. This indicates that of the potential CfD AR4 pipeline, a large majority is located in Scotland.