– Renewables bridging the generation gap this decade
– DECC must bring forward new biomass power plants
The Treasury has announced today that a number of renewable energy projects are to be considered for government infrastructure guarantees , a move warmly welcomed by the REA. With capacity margins tightening this decade as old coal and nuclear plants are retired, it is crucial to get new capacity built quickly. Renewables, being much quicker to deploy than nuclear or carbon capture and storage, are the only low carbon technologies which can make a meaningful contribution to bridging the generation gap this decade.
REA Chief Executive Dr Nina Skorupska said:
“For all the fuss about nuclear and fracking, let’s not forget that we’ll be well into the mid-2020s before Hinkley starts generating or we see meaningful volumes of shale gas in the pipelines. The supply crunch will bite well before then as old plants are retired. The biomass, wind and waste to energy projects in this list, as well as the guarantee already awarded to Drax’s biomass conversion, will be a huge help in keeping the lights on and cutting emissions this decade.
“However, the contribution dedicated biomass can make is being stymied in current policy and the new EMR arrangements. We urgently need flexible, low carbon generation from biomass and Government must provide support for new biomass power plants in its Electricity Market Reform programme.”
The REA is also pleased to see a Humberside marine energy park and a bio-LNG project on the list as well, which should help drive down costs in less well developed technologies with great scope for innovation and cost reduction. The announcement comes amid a flurry of good green energy news stories, as Estover Energy achieves consent for a combined heat and power biomass plant in Kent  and Aquamarine Power reveals the jobs potential of its planned 40MW Lewis wave farm in the Western Isles .
Dr Nina Skorupska added:
“Congratulations to Estover and Aquamarine Power. Renewables are creating jobs and driving innovation the length and breadth of the British Isles. This is good news for our position in the global race and great news for the long-term security of our energy supply and our climate.”