New research carried out by Aurora Energy Research has shown that the plummeting costs of solar and wind could potentially unlock £20 billion of private investment. Their analysts believe that wind energy will represent 50pc of all renewable projects that are built subsidy-free in the UK over the next 12 years.
This would mean that Britain faces a green energy future without subsidies, potentially killing off the building of any future gas power stations, which would still require government subsidy and be unable to compete in a free energy market. Technological advances in energy battery storage mean that the falling costs of solar and wind are rapidly becoming viable with just private investment. Solar and onshore wind will be subsidy-free by 2025.
The news comes as Vattenfall, the Swedish energy giant, confirmed that it had won a tender from the Dutch government to build the world's first subsidy-free offshore wind farm in 2022. However, those in the industry largely believe that an element of financial support may be required during the transition to a completely competitive market operation to share risk between private firms and governments. The government is also being lobbied to allow onshore wind farms to compete in public energy subsidy auctions.
SSE has backed the call, saying that onshore wind power should have equal opportunities to compete where they have community support. Scottish Power's CEO, Keith Anderson, agreed, saying that there were still areas where communities were happy to see onshore wind developments and where land was still available.
Aurora Energy's calculations predict that half of the renewable energy capacity to be added without subsidy between now and 2030 will come from wind, and the rest will be from new solar power developments, which are experiencing a fresh resurgence of opportunity after subsidy cuts.