Scotland sees the largest increase in renewable pipeline capacity

According to Cornwall Insight’s ‘Renewables pipeline tracker’, most regions across Great Britain (GB) showed a net increase in total pipeline capacity between April 2020 and March 2021.

Displayed by distribution network operator (DNO) region for visualisation purposes and accounting for projects due to connect to the transmission network, Central and Southern Scotland and Eastern England have seen the largest increase with 1,003MW and 800MW of additional pipeline capacity added within the two regions, respectively.

London was the only region to see a small net decrease in pipeline capacity of 5MW since the April 2020 report, with 26MW of energy from waste (EfW) incineration leaving the pipeline.

Change in pipeline capacity

Laura Woolsey, Analyst at Cornwall Insight, said:

“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.”


Notes to Editors

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