The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

UK Urged to Auction Renewable Deals to Cut Electricity Bills

UK Urged to Auction Renewable Deals to Cut Electricity Bills

The U.K. should hold competitive auctions for most renewable power contracts to bring down technology costs and lower the impact on consumer electricity bills, an analyst linked to the ruling Conservative Party said.

Biomass, onshore wind power and energy-from-waste could all compete against each other for electricity generation contracts from as early as next year, Policy Exchange said today in a report. Solar power may also be able to compete, while a technology-specific auction with a fixed budget should be held for offshore wind power, it said.

Energy prices have been a political flash point in Britain, with the opposition Labour party pledging to freeze bills should it win the next election in 2015. That spurred measures by the ruling Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to cut some charges. The government estimates support for renewables will add 132 pounds ($215) to typical a household’s bill by 2020.

Auctioning “should be preferred to administrative price setting because of its ability to reveal price information” and encourage cheaper bids, the Policy Exchange said. “The government should accelerate the planned timetable for introducing auctions.”

The government is trying to spur 110 billion pounds of investment to replace aging power plants by 2020, while still meeting binding emissions and renewable energy targets. To that end, Parliament last week passed a law reforming the electricity market and setting prices for power from different low-carbon generation technologies through 2019.

Offshore Wind Cap

While the government has said it intends to eventually move to competitive auctions, the transition is “ill-defined,” Policy Exchange said. It pointed to fast-falling wind power costs in Brazil as evidence of the benefits auctions can bring.

For offshore wind, it suggested the government should set a cap on 2020 prices, using an industry goal of 100 pounds per megawatt-hour as a “starting point.” That’s 40 pounds lower than the price the government has set for offshore wind for projects that start during the tax year ending March 31, 2019.

Policy Exchange also recommended the government should push to scrap its European Union target of getting 15 percent of all energy — including heat and transportation — from renewables by 2015. The goal, it said, implies deriving as much as 35 percent of power from clean sources.

Policy Exchange was set up in 2002, when its first chairman was Michael Gove, now the education secretary. Its first director was Nick Boles, another current Conservative Party lawmaker, and a third, Francis Maude, was also a founder-member.

Copyright 2013 Bloomberg

Lead image: Offshore wind via Shutterstock


Solar thermal desalination

Solar Thermal Desalination Now Underway in Water-hungry California

Susan Kraemer, Correspondent Regional droughts are being exacerbated by climate change, which is mostly caused by what is tasked with bailing them out — fossil fuels. Israel, Australia, and now southern California have all turned to expensive energy-g...
Memo pad on table

IRS Issues Solar Tax Equity Memo Stating the Obvious

David Burton and Richard Page, Akin Gump On Friday, the IRS issued a heavily redacted Chief Counsel Advice (“CCA”) memorandum, that addresses the intersection of solar investment tax credit partnership flip transactions and the wind production tax credit par...
Pope Francis

The Common Goals of the Pope and Clean Energy

Paul Stinson, EDF Pope Francis turned a keen eye toward the environment and the problem of climate change with his encyclical,“Laudato Si” (“Praised Be”). As a clean energy advocate, I’m heartened that Pope Francis recognizes the need ...
Electric vehicles

Innovating Today for the Homes of Tomorrow

David Glickson, NREL Shaping our energy future into one that is efficient, reliable, affordable, and sustainable is a significant undertaking. Much of this effort is focused around the energy industry, utilities, and power grids—which can seem...


Volume 18, Issue 3


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:



Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

SAP for Utilities

The SAP for Utilities conference is the most comprehensive SAP for Utili...

Training: Preparing for Rule 21 - SPI 2015

What: Rule 21 Training When: September 16th @ 4:30-5:30pm Wher...


Solar Power Helps Detroit Community Light Streets

Residents of Highland Park, a city almost surrounded by Detroit, receive...

Buyer Personas

If you’ve taken any of my efficiency-focused professional selling ...

The Creative Walk

Do you struggle to come up with creative ideas? When you desperately nee...


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now