Developer Banks Renewables has withdrawn its legal challenge over onshore wind's exclusion from the UK government’s third contracts-for-difference auction round, according to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
The UK government announced earlier this month that it was set to lift its controversial ban of onshore wind projects from government-backed contracts support, in a major u-turn by the ruling Conservative Party over a policy that sent new turbine installation figures plunging.
A spokesman for BEIS told Recharge that “we are pleased this case has been withdrawn and we look forward to the fourth [contract-for-difference] round opening next year”.
Banks had argued in its judicial review application last year that the exclusion of fully-consented onshore wind farms from the CfD allocations was against the public interest, in a move that delayed the process and left a potential shadow over the outcome after the round went ahead in September.
Norway’s Equinor, which is co-developing three 1.2GW projects at Dogger Bank in partnership with UK utility SSE after winning 15-year CfD awards in the round, said that “Dogger Bank Wind Farm welcomed the clarity brought by the resolution of the judicial review”.
Richard Dunkley, managing director at Banks Renewables, said: “It’s clear that we will need to deploy the full range of renewable energy generation technologies in the UK, including onshore wind, solar and offshore wind, if we are to meet our 2050 net zero emissions target and decarbonise our power supply.
“Banks Renewables is committed to being part of this journey. Our CfD legal challenge was very much a reluctant intervention borne of a desire to change government policy and bring about a level playing field for competing renewables technologies,” Dunkley added.
“Following the government’s recent commitment to include all renewables generation technologies – including onshore wind – in the next round of CfD auctions, we feel there is now a unique window of opportunity ahead of COP26 later this year for [UK Prime Minister] Boris Johnson’s new administration to make progress on a range of climate change policies, in a way that achieves net zero through fair and competitive frameworks.”
Note: Update adds Banks Renewables comments