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  • Andrew Byrne

Greener future beckons as renewables and technology associations join forces

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

Three organisations representing the renewables, solar and clean technology industries in the UK have announced a partnership to encourage their member companies to accelerate the transition to net-zero carbon emissions.

The Solar Trade Association (STA), Renewable UK and techUK announced on September 10th that they would encourage their members to set up long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) and to invest in emerging technologies in the renewables sector.

A recent government report from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has shown that renewables are already a significantly cheaper source of energy in electricity generation than was previously thought. Their undercutting of the price of carbonised energy will continue throughout the next 30 years as more projects begin to produce energy and this is the message which the trade associations hope will resonate with corporations.

The BEIS report that large-scale solar will be developed at a Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) of £44/MWh by 2025 with onshore wind at £46/MWh and offshore wind at £68/MWh – all significantly less than combined cycle gas turbines.

In the joint announcement from the three trade associations, techUK will encourage their members (already the largest corporate buyers of renewable energy) to utilise the PPAs to help underpin decarbonisation.

Meanwhile, the STA and Renewable UK will encourage their members to work with the technology sector to explore the potential of emerging technology such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things in the renewables sector and to integrate smart energy and heat systems.

The amounts of solar and wind power being developed in the UK over the next few years is considerable with the National Infrastructure Commission estimating that renewables could meet two-thirds of the country’s energy demand by 2030.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the desire to see the UK “build back greener” and this partnership between the three renewable organisations will be a boon to that wish.

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