On 26 July 2021 the UK Government responded to its Call for Evidence on Enabling a High Renewables, Net Zero Electricity System. The call for evidence was originally published on 14 December 2020 seeking views on how policies related to the deployment of renewable energy technologies should adapt.
The views submitted were intended to inform the Government's approach to the long-term future of renewables project support and the future design of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme for renewables projects. There were three areas of concentration: (i) maintaining growth in renewable deployment to meet net zero targets (ii) ensuring overall system costs are minimised for electricity consumers, and (iii) supporting and adapting to innovative technologies and business models.
There were a total of 103 responses from a variety of stakeholders to a number of questions relating to matters including how much longer the CfD should be used, and the market approach to non-CfD backed renewables projects such as corporate PPAs (CPPAs), utility power purchase agreements, trading openly on the wholesale market, and the Capacity Market. The majority of respondents considered that increasing the exposure of renewables projects to market signals would add to the cost of financing renewables projects. The possibility of hybrid offshore wind-interconnector projects, international renewables projects, and using CfDs for part built/existing infrastructure, was also explored.
The Government concluded by acknowledging the need for change and that challenges have emerged over time in procuring renewables projects through the CfD, such as the interactions with locational signals, flexibility, repowering, merchant deployment, and innovations in renewable projects. The responses will be taken into account in the design of future rounds of renewables projects, and how a balance is struck between supporting investment in new projects whilst exposing projects to the market to drive efficient behaviour.