UK set for widespread subsidy-free renewable energy projects by 2025

Onshore renewable energy farms in the UK could be built without taxpayer subsidy by 2025, according to a new study by market analysis group Aurora Energy Research.

The research found that the falling costs of wind and solar projects, along with improvements in battery storage technology, could lead to a US$28 billion investment boost to the UK’s renewables sector up to 2030, paving the way for zero-subsidy projects.

Wind power is set to account for half of the 18GW subsidy-free projects to be built in the country between now and 2030, with solar energy harvesting-projects accounting for the other half.

The UK’s solar industry has stalled since the government cut its subsidies in 2015, but received a timely boost last year when the nation’s first zero-subsidy solar farm opened in Bedfordshire.

Mateusz Wronski, head of product development at Aurora, said: “Back in 2010 at the start of the electricity market reform process in the UK, few would have imagined that by 2018 we would be talking about a subsidy-free future for renewables.

“Yet, this is where we have arrived, and our research highlights clearly the enormous prize and potential in the market, not only in the UK but across Europe. This will be a true game changer for the energy industry and policy makers.”

Aurora’s research also highlighted the UK’s decreasing need to build large gas power stations, predicting a decrease in gas power capacity to just 1GW if subsidy-free renewables are to arrive.