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Democratising wind creating lasting value for communities: Renewables UK November 2013.
How UK onshore renewables has lagged behind european competitors due to lower levels of community involvement .
How community yield EIS companies can deliver value for both developers and the communities that host projects.
Download the talk given to UKrenewables 2013 annual conference in birmingham :
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Communities for renewables CIC (CfR)
CfR provides at risk consultancy services to local energy cooperatives seeking to develop renewable electricity and renewable heat projects in their locality with the aim of facilitating local ownership, local income generation and where possible local energy supply arrangements.It also helps developers engaging with community development.
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Renewables to 2020: its not just the shale gas challenge
In mature economies full blooded growth has yet to replace recession. Even allowing for pre-credit largesse , in the West normal financing has not been resumed.
- President Obama, in his inaugural address, did not lip sync his commitment to deal with the challenges posed by climate change, but he also said,
“The path toward sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult."
Read Jonathan Johns guest lead article from EY's CAI issue 36 which posits an investment framework for renewables to 2020 , discusses the impact of tthe shale gas challenge and highlights the three tier energy market that is emerging : in North America, Europe and Asia (with other fast growth markets).
Are we doing enough to keep the lights on ? Aug 2012
Many countries will miss their targets leaving economies vulnerable to fossil fuel price shocks and localised power blackouts: see the analysis.
See the results
Read our views in-the-press.php
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Content relevant to high energy users , businesses subject to the CRC and communities seeking to transition to the low carbon economy.
The cfd update and the Autumn statement:
Despite the rhetoric that the new cfd prices represent a shift to offshore wind from onshore solar and onshore wind , the changes are more subtle , and are likely to be accommodated by the onshore renewable energy industry with the challenge for offshore remaining.
The new tariffs are accompanied by a softening in the language surrounding the achievement of the 2020 30% renewables target and an acknowledgement that depending on investment conditions offshore wind could be 10gw at the lower end of the range previously quoted 8 to 16 gw .
In the case of offshore wind a palliative only has been provided by granting one extra year at £140 per megawatt year in 2018/19 (it was previously going to drop to £135) .
It is arguable that this remains less attractive to utilities than the German compressed tariff which was recently extended for two years , but it will help investors concerned about project drift .
In the case of onshore wind tariffs have been dropped by £5 to £90 from 2017/8 onwards The £5 drop in tariffs for the earlier years to £95 being of less concern to many developers who are likely to still prefer to develop projects under the RO ( partly evidenced by the relatively low rate of preapplication for CFds compared to offshore wind where 7gw of projects have preapplied.)
The tariff reduction for later years is likely to be accommodated by the industry ( subject to adverse exchange rate movements ) . Indeed policy geeks will have noted that the £90 price now being quoted is identical to that used by the government when it first modelled the EMR reforms .
In the case of large scale solar the reduction has been more pronounced with a £5 drop for the first years increased to £10 from 2018/19 onwards laying down the longer term challenge to onshore solar to achieve costs much closer to those of onshore wind by 2018/19, when the £100 cfd for solar compares to £90 for onshore wind .
Again developers may well prefer the upside of the RO for the first few years , especially given the longer tenor of such contracts making the headline changes less significant .
Barring another major row between China and Europe or radical change in the current position of oversupply , it is likely that the solar industry will be happy to live even with the 2018/19 changes .
An unforseen effect could be a rush to establish projects not just in the increasingly solar saturated south , but also the the midlands and the north where the higher early year tariffs compensate for lower solar hours and where there is likely to be less planning risk .
The continued availability of capital and debt at much lower cost for solar due to its lower risk profile is likely to allow solar to be able to cope with these tariff adjustments . In the case of solar the unadjusted smaller scale fit could well lead to a revival in rooftop take up, particularly in community schemes , benefitting from EIS relief .
The clear loser from the review has been the energy from waste sector where there has been a £10 reduction in the tariff for efw with chp ( and also landfill gas : although this is less significant ) .
This is is disconcerting for distributed heating schemes where UK take up has been much lower than in continental Europe .
Pleasingly dedicated anaerobic digestion projects and biomass with chp benefits from this switch with tariffs £5 higher with a further year at the higher tariff available for advanced conversion technologies . Good news for farmers .
In the newer technologies there has been a sensible increase in the tariff for geothermal ( query whether even at £145 it is enough)
Of course all of this could change if the government uses the cfd allocation process to bring forward auctions when onshore wind landfill gas and efw will have an advantage as will those projects which benefit from the best resource .
For mature industries such as onshore wind ( and solar ) the certainty provide by the review going out to 2018/9 will be welcome and it is likely on reflection that the industry will also welcome the opportunity that they can deliver increasing capacity at lower costs .
Of much more concern will be whether some form of support will continue after 2020 in the absence of 2030 targets , allowing further investment in UK Cleantech jobs and the devil that still resides in some of the detail of the cfd mechanism .
The prices quoted are maximum prices with the very clear hint that the allocation process could well lead to rationing and a requirement for project developers to bid in below the strike price : this could be sooner than the industry expects or wants .
A clear signal that the race to convergence is on .
The only sad point is that the continued Punch and Judy show over energy continues to affect investor sentiment but the huff and puff may be the price the industry has to pay for support .
It remains in case that the two tiered or compressed tariffs favoured by Germany for onshore and offshore wind , provide great comfort to investors whilst better value for taxpayers and consumers and it is a pity that this model was discounted in the early stages of the EMR review .
For onshore renewables wind solar and the various biomass technologies , the tariff regime looks sensible , but with the prospect of early auctions driving down returns , likely to lead to a development such for offshore it's not certain that the government will benefit from the volume it initially desired and the further incentives may be required to be given direct to incoming manufacturers if a significant uk presence in terms of local jobs is to be achieved .
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