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London sees decrease in renewable pipeline capacity, Scotland soars

Jordan O'Brien

Jordan O'Brien

Contributing Editor
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London has suffered a small net decrease in renewable pipeline capacity, according to the latest figures from Cornwall Insight. 

The region was the only one in the UK to see a net decrease, estimated to be around 5 MW. This decrease was due to 26MW of energy from waste (EfW) incineration leaving the pipeline. Thankfully that was more than offset by some large increases in renewable pipeline capacity elsewhere in the country. 

Scotland and Eastern England boasted the largest renewable pipeline capacity increase, registering a 1,003 MW and 800 MW boost, respectively. That’s compared to previous figures released in April 2020, so is a significant increase. 

Laura Woolsey, Analyst at Cornwall Insight, commented, “There is no one technology type driving the regional increases; however, certain technology types dominate specific regions. For example, Scotland has seen the largest increase in onshore wind, particularly in Central and Southern Scotland. Other areas have seen proportionally smaller changes in total capacity within the last year.

“Onshore wind is overwhelmingly located in Scotland likely due to a more supportive planning framework and wider factors such as wind speed conditions and land access. Although onshore wind dominates capacity in this region, high Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) costs have been highlighted as a potential barrier to development.

“Offshore wind also has large capacity levels in Scotland and in the East of England where several large-scale sites are expected to connect to the transmission network. Central and Southern England has seen the largest increases in Solar photovoltaics (PV) capacity, which is more likely to connect at the distribution level.

“However, battery capacity has changed more widely across GB, with East/South Eastern regions and Scotland seeing the largest increases to the pipeline. Battery sites are often co-located with other generation, particularly with Solar PV, with many applications being added to existing onshore wind and solar PV sites.”

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