With the new EU rulings setting to be clarified in the coming days and ratified within the coming months what is going to be interesting is looking towards the future to understand how countries will looking to meet the new targets. Based on the guidelines that the EU is looking to set a European target in the future as opposed to the long standing individual targets greater unilateral partnerships maybe the way forward. This could be a course of action that the UK and other governments look to adopt to forge stronger relationships to reach a common goal.
Hinkly Power plant Plans
It would be wise to assume that UK companies would also look to adopt such approaches in greater numbers given that the likely increased competition (as declared by the UK government) is set to force project budgets/tender budgets to be squeezed. A further interesting consequence of such partnerships will be how projects will be broken down to ensure foreign investors attain the percentages and tax breaks they would be looking for to make deals viable.
Of course such shared ownership of projects within the energy market isn’t new with many energy companies within the UK being based in other countries i.e. E-on to name one but what is likely to be different in the coming years is the increase in such partnerships. With onshore projects looking to be open for all to compete for the tender you could likely see UK wind generation companies teaming up with a Spanish solar panels company and so on. Already we are seeing large projects being built by outside investors on English shores. The new Hinkley power plant in Somerset is to be built by Chinese contractors and be maintained by EDF (a French company) and although this is an example of large scale partnership the future is more likely to involve a far greater amount of smaller projects.
Also the role the renewable energy SME’s play in this sector could be interesting to highlight as unilateral collaborations tend to be in favor of the larger providers. However given that the money supply could be limited in the coming years or at least harder to obtain you could see many smaller companies looking to adapt their business model or become part of a unilateral procurement framework to ensure they forge the relationships that may become necessary to continue to function in a joint European target driven future.
While energy generation projects could look to take this approach another area that could look to develop such partnerships is in the research arena. This can be highlighted by the recent collaboration between The UK’s National Renewable Energy Centre and Sweden’s Technical Research Institute whom are working together to look to methods to improve and greater utilize offshore renewable energy generation.
The combining of such areas within the renewable energy markets in the coming years would not only benefit the UK but all members of the EU tasked with the future emissions target.
Some previous related articles of interest:
The Green Deal and what it means to renewable energy financing
Long term plans for community solar panel funding
What the future holds for Nuclear and Shale based energy