RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck has made a case for wind, wave and tidal energy to the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Select Committee, which is now considering the findings of Professor Dieter Helm’s Cost of Energy Review.
“An energy system led by renewables is the lowest cost option for the UK. I’d bet my house on renewables. A smart energy system can deliver consumers savings of £8bn a year between now and 2030,” Pinchbeck told the Committee, further saying that Contract for Difference (CfD) auctions are the best way to secure low-cost energy for consumers, highlighting that cost reductions in offshore wind are “unprecedented in any other sector.”
Emma Pinchbeck pointed out that, while the review is focused on future, there are actions which could be taken now to reduce costs and provide certainty. Here, pointed to onshore wind, saying that running CfD auctions allowing onshore wind to compete would deliver onshore wind at under GBP 5/MWh, which would be cheaper than gas.
RenewableUK’s Executive Director also said that the Helm Review fails to recognise the fact that energy policy can contribute to wider economic, industrial and regional development. “New projects have brought investment in regions across the UK – with £18bn more to come over the next 5 years. Those wider industrial benefits should be recognised. 90% of this investment is being spent outside the south-east of England, in areas where it’s needed most to create jobs. More than 50% of RenewableUK’s members are supply chain companies and we’re exporting worldwide.”
BEIS published the independent review of energy costs, looking into reducing costs in the electricity supply chain, in October 2017. It follows the plan to upgrade the UK’s network to a smarter energy system, set out by the UK government and Ofgem in July 2017, and the publication of draft legislation on an energy price cap.