National Infrastructure Commission
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First subsidy-free solar farm a ‘welcome step’ towards cheaper renewable energy

Lord Adonis yesterday welcomed the opening of the UK’s first subsidy-free solar farm as a “welcome step” towards using cheaper renewable energy sources.

The Clayhill solar farm is near Flitwick in Bedfordshire, and will provide enough power for 2,500 homes.  It will also offer battery storage to enable the electricity to be used at any time.

Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Lord Adonis said:

“If we are to meet our targets to cut carbon emissions, we need to find affordable new ways to power our homes and businesses. Yesterday’s new subsidy-free solar farm is a welcome step in that direction.

“This, and the fall in the cost of offshore wind energy, demonstrate how low-carbon energy sources are becoming increasingly competitive – and underlines the case we’ve made for the Government to outline how it plans to support renewable sources over the next decade.”

Yesterday’s solar farm opening comes after the cost of offshore wind power fell dramatically: the winners of auctions for the latest round of subsidy contracts included two large offshore wind farms, set to come onstream in 2023 at a cost of £57.50 per Megawatt hour – half the price of two years ago.

And National Grid has also reported that this Summer has been the greenest to date, with 52 per cent of electricity generation met by low-carbon sources compared to 35 per cent four years ago.

In his post-election statement, Lord Adonis called on the Government to publish firm plans for supporting renewable energy to at least 2025.


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