Pipeline for renewable energy and storage projects grows to 86GW, research says

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The pipeline of renewable energy and storage projects across England, Scotland and Wales currently stands at 86GW, the latest figures from Cornwall Insight’s Renewables Pipeline Tracker reveal.

This research also shows 40.6GW of sites are classified with a development status of “scoping”, which refers to 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.

Figure 1: ‘Cornwall Insight Renewables Pipeline Tracker – Total Viable Pipeline View March 2021’

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.

Lucy Dolton (Image by Cornwall Insight)

Lucy Dolton, Analyst at Cornwall Insight, explained: “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.”