Analysis from Cornwall Insight suggests 17 GW of technology is eligible to bid in the UK’s Contract for Difference (CfD) Allocation Round 4 (AR4), of which around half is offshore wind, potentially more
Of the total 17 GW eligible, almost half (7.9 GW) is offshore wind. The rest is made up of 7.6 GW of ‘Pot 1’ established technologies and 1.4 GW of ‘Pot 2’ less established technologies.
Pot 1 technologies have been re-integrated into the scheme for AR4, and the analysis shows over 5 GW of onshore wind and 1.7 GW of solar PV could be eligible to bid, with further solar PV sites known to be in the grid connection queue.
Cornwall Insight analyst Lucy Dolton said, “Recent announcements by BEIS have confirmed the CfD AR4 auction will take place in ‘late 2021’ and will look to procure up to double the ~6 GW seen in AR3.
“With a potential of up to 12 GW available, it is easy to see how industry eyes are turning to how much of the pipeline could compete.
“Currently, a 7.9-GW pipeline of offshore wind is eligible. On top of this, the 2.4-GW Hornsea Three site and the 1.8-GW Norfolk Boreas site are still awaiting Nationally Significant Infrastructure Planning approval. Should this come in time, they could also enter AR4.
“Across Pot 1 and the remaining Pot 2 technologies, up to a further 9 GW of sites could be eligible to compete.
“We have added a further 4 GW to our view of maximum viable CfD pipeline capacity. It is clear the industry is gearing up for the opportunity provided by the scheme, especially when compared to alternative subsidy-free options.
“BEIS’ announcement has confirmed some of the key aspects that will enable the re-integration of onshore wind and solar PV into the scheme, as well as wider scheme changes for AR4.
“However, we are still awaiting BEIS’ confirmation on budgets and capacity caps before we can fully assess how this 17 GW will compete in next year’s auction.”