Utility Week

Utility Week 3rd March 2017

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"Getting much, much larger volumes of offshore wind into the system will be driven by the success of storage" Benj Sykes, UK country manager at Dong Energy UTILITY WEEK | 3RD - 9Th MaRch 2017 | 11 Government support The environment Well placed for new industrial policy Generation Review Energy storage could help offshore wind realise its potential I f offshore wind is to generate power cheaper than the hinkley Point c nuclear plant, some technological advances will have to take place the electricity grid. as is true for many low-carbon technolo- gies, the reliability of offshore wind to meet demand lies not in the hands of industry and policymakers, but in the wind itself. If it is to fulfil its potential, the sector must hope for advances in energy storage so excess energy can be stored for when it is needed. Furthermore, wider adoption of smart technology and a wave of new connections to the grid will have to be completed. If those challenges can be overcome, the prospects for the sector will be drastically improved. "Getting much, much larger volumes of offshore wind into the system will be driven by the success of storage," says Sykes. Offshore wind has indeed come a long way, but its best days likely lie ahead. F ull details on the government's industrial strategy are not expected until later this year, but the offshore wind sector has already received encouraging signs. The Green Paper, published in Jan- uary, gave an indication of the focus of the strategy and alongside battery storage and low-carbon transport, offshore wind was highlighted, with the department pledging resources to enable further cost reductions in the sector. That pledge of support was then reinforced by prime minister Theresa May, who used a visit to Humber to highlight the successes of the offshore wind sector in providing renewable energy while also creating jobs across the supply chain. This, she explained, is "exactly what the industrial strategy is about", indicating that the strong track record of the sector in creating jobs and economic activity could stand it in good stead when the full policy is revealed. This voicing of support for the sec- tor from the government, coupled with its success in lowering the LCOE, mean the sector is in a good position to capi- talise on the upcoming Contracts for Difference auction. With £290 million in contracts to supply electricity to the grid on offer for the periods 2020/21 to 2021/22, success for large scale devel- opments will offer financial security to advance the sector. "Understanding what the world looks like for the 2020s will be very important both for the developer community and the supply chain," explains Benj Sykes, UK country man- ager at Dong Energy and co-chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council. Large-scale decarbonisation I t is the sheer scale of offshore wind that makes it of value to decar- bonisation. While both solar and onshore wind are less costly and com- plex to roll out, neither can offer any- thing like the scale of generation that offshore wind can. Provided it is completed as planned, Dong Energy's Hornsea Pro- ject Two will take it into the realms of gigawatts, with up to 300 turbines gen- erating 1.8GW. Already contributing 5 per cent of the country's electricity demand and on course to rise to 10 per cent by 2020, the day when offshore wind will permanently overtake coal's contribu- tions to the grid is fast approaching. Hornsea Project Two is expected to eliminate more than 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. And it may soon be competing with even bigger sources of genera- tion. With last year's average of £97/ MW and the expectation of continued declining prices as bigger develop- ments come online, the day when the offshore wind sector can compete with Hinkley Point C's agreed strike price of £92.50 is coming ever closer. Speaking earlier this year, Hugh McNeal, chief executive of Renewable UK, said: "I wouldn't be surprised if it cleared Hinkley prices." PrOjEcTS IN NuMBErS London Array Capacity: 630MW Turbine capacity: 3.6MWh Number of Turbines: 175 Total Turbine Height: 147m Rotar Diameter: 120m Cost: €2.42 billion Location: Thames Estuary, Southern North Sea Area: 122km 2 Homes powered annually: 446,201 Hornsea Project Two Capacity: 1.8GW Turbine Capacity: 6MW-15MW Number of Turbines 80-300 Total Turbine Height: 276m Rotor diameter: 250m Predicted cost: £6 billion Location: North Sea, 89km of Yorkshire coast Area: 462km 2 Homes powered annually: 1,274,860 The next Utility Week Generation Review will take a closer look at nuclear power

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