During 2019/20, 11 Contracts for Difference (CfD) projects became operational, generating enough low carbon electricity to power Wales.
Yesterday (30 September), the Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) and Electricity Settlements Company (ESC) released their annual reports and accounts for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, detailing the CfD and Capacity Market schemes.
These showed that the new CfD projects increased the installed total capacity commissioned under the CfD scheme to 4.9GW. During the year, the new projects contributed 18.8TWh of low carbon electricity.
This brings the number of CfDs managed by the LCCC to 73, with a portfolio that includes advanced conversion technologies, biomass conversion, dedicated biomass and energy from waste with combined heat and power, onshore and offshore wind, solar photovoltaics (PV), remote island wind and the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant.
Additionally, 22 new Allocation Round 3 CfDs were signed, increasing the future pipeline by 5.8GW of capacity.
In March, it was announced that there would once again by CfD auctions for pot one technologies – including solar PV and onshore wind. This was broadly welcomed by the renewables industry, with many having been outspoken in their criticism of the defacto ban of onshore wind in particular previously.
It is still unclear when the auction will be, with consultations pushed back due to COVID-19, along with many of the details of it, including whether there will be a cap.
The report also details the restart of the Capacity Market in January 2020, after months of engagement with suppliers to ensure the LCCC was able to collect all of the required funds. Over £1 billion of deferred capacity payments were paid to Capacity Providers available during the Standstill Period.
Neil McDermott, LCCC chief executive, said the 2019/20 period had presented LCCC and ESC with “significant challenges”, but in overcoming them, he continued, “we have demonstrated our value in supporting the transition towards a reliable and affordable decarbonised electricity system".
“We continue to support both electricity generators and suppliers through the Coronavirus crisis in our interactions with them on the CfD and CM schemes. As we continue to contribute our knowledge and expertise to support the UK’s ambition of net zero emissions, we have an opportunity to build on the success of the CfD scheme in attracting and maintaining the investment needed to transform the country's electricity system.”