At the recent REFF Wall Street conference in New York, organised by Euromoney and ACORE, the issue of government support was high on the agenda. The debate around government support in the US sounded very similar to the discussion which we hear regularly in the UK. Some of the terms might differ slightly, but the sentiment was the same - government support for renewable energy is deemed to be desirable, if not essential.
The UK government has been proactive in supporting renewable energy and has responded to demands for better visibility on incentives, to encourage investment. Alongside the recent Electricity Market Reform white paper, published in early July, UK Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, published the Renewables Roadmap, an action plan to accelerate the deployment and use of renewable energy in the UK. The roadmap identifies eight technologies with the greatest potential. These are: onshore wind; offshore wind; marine energy; biomass electricity; biomass heat; ground source heat pumps; air source heat pumps; renewable transport. Other technologies, including hydropower, solar PV and deep geothermal heat and power, are also expected to play a role, but are not considered to have such great potential in the UK.
The UK government’s target is to build 18GW of offshore wind generating capacity by 2020 - significantly above the 13GW recommended by the Committee on Climate Change. The cost of wind generation is expected to fall to £100 per MW/hour from around £190 per MW/hour at present. The government will support innovation in the sector and has dedicated £30 million of support for the industry. Let’s hope that investors are forthcoming to finance this enormous project.
Offshore wind in the UK - and other markets such as Germany - is supporting growth in the wind sector globally. In contrast, investment in wind in the US has slowed - a cause for concern on some of the panels at REFF Wall Street. However, the wind sector is growing in other markets. There is still plenty of scope to deploy onshore wind in emerging economies such as India, China and Brazil. One company which is set to benefit from growth in both the offshore market and the emerging economies is India’s Suzlon. Suzlon owns Repower in Germany (a manufacturer of 6MW offshore turbines) and is present in two of the other ‘BRIC’ economies - Brazil and and China - as well as its domestic market. We profile Suzlon on page 6.
We are delighted to have Beaufort International Associates Ltd as our sponsor for this issue of Quoted Cleantech. Another change this issue is that we have said goodbye to Jon Mainwaring, who has edited the newsletter since its launch two years ago but has now moved on. We wish him well in his new career and thank him for all his efforts. I have stepped in as editor and am looking forward to focusing on the quoted companies in the cleantech sector.
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