UK’s renewable energy and storage pipeline expands to 86GW

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The pipeline of renewable energy and storage projects across England, Scotland and Wales currently stands at 86GW, a new study released by research firm Cornwall Insight has revealed.

The study states that 40.6GW of the renewable energy and storage projects are classified with a development status of ‘scoping’. This is where sites are yet to submit a planning application but have a grid connection option confirmed through National Grid’s Transmission Entry Capacity (TEC) Register. These scoping sites have been added to Cornwall Insight’s analysis to account for the major increase in activity seen for early-stage projects, particularly offshore wind sites.

The research firm’s Renewables Pipeline Tracker has found that a further 13.5 GW of pipeline capacity are currently classified as “application submitted” and awaiting planning approval, capacity classified as “awaiting construction” totals 24.5 GW. Capacity classified as “under construction” stands at 7.8 GW.

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Lucy Dolton, analyst at Cornwall Insight, said: “We are currently seeing increased activity in sites classified as scoping, with recent developments in the offshore leasing rounds being undertaken by the Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland.

“As such, Cornwall Insight’s Renewables Pipeline Tracker now accounts for these sites in its analysis, helping us assess the potential trends from the next Scotwind Leasing round and future Contracts for Difference (CfD) Allocation Rounds.

“While the auction parameters are yet to be announced, the fourth Allocation Round (AR4) of the CfD scheme is firmly on the horizon in 2021. With AR4 set to offer the first Pot 1 auction since 2015, it is also unsurprising to see an increase in the number of onshore wind and solar PV sites entering the development pipeline with the aim of accessing the CfD.”

Learn more about the study findings here.