The UK government has recently given the green light for the next phase of the EA Wind Farm off the coast of Norfolk. It looks like Scottish Power are going to have some stiff competition in the bidding process from DONG Energy.
These processes will hopefully drive down the unit energy cost for consumers and encourage the suppliers to think more long term in terms of sustainability and project life cycle. Alberto Gandolfi (Head of Research at Goldman Sachs) is predicting that solar energy & wind energy costs are coming down significantly, with a predicted elimination of subsidies by 2020. Improved technology, with larger turbines and blades is facilitating the harvesting of energy at wind speeds as low as 10 knots. This will be better in the long term for consumers, with deflationary pressure on electricity pricing, and will add further traction to investment in renewable power.
It is an exciting time for the EA region with large investment in turbines and potentially Sizewell “C” nuclear facility. It will be interesting to see if the improvements in “renewables” will put pressure on the viability of nuclear, given that Sizewell is still a way from its final approval. Progress on renewable energy sources is definitely going in the right direction.