Collaboration with Element Energy

Cambridge ModellingElement Energy

Cambridge Modelling is working in close partnership with Element Energy on the deployment of our low carbon energy models in the UK and Europe. Element Energy is a specialist low carbon energy strategy consultancy with a strong track record of delivering complex projects for public sector clients (such as the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Committee on Climate Change, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, etc.) and private industry (including Rolls Royce, Nissan, UK Power Networks, Northern Powergrid, Scottish and Southern Energy, RenewableUK, etc.).

Element Energy’s expertise in low carbon energy, transport, buildings and infrastructure is an excellent fit with Cambridge Modelling’s techno-economic forecasting and computational modelling work in these areas. We are delighted to be working closely with Element Energy to offer our clients the most informed and rigorous forecasting available across the complete supply chain of these evolving markets.

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DECC Adopts Cambridge Modelling Forecasting Recommendations

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has now adopted all of the feed-in tariff modelling and forecasting recommendations made by Cambridge Modelling in our techno-economic analysis report on UK solar photovoltaic feed-in tariffs. As a result, the rigour and accuracy with which feed-in tariffs in the UK are forecast and administered has been greatly improved, allowing both government and industry to better plan for, and respond to, the long-term changes in UK feed-in tariffs.

The greater insight that these recommended improvements provide into the key sensitivities around component and installation costs – along with their impact on the feed-in tariffs required – gives a more representative indication of future market conditions and supports stable industry growth in the UK. Both of these elements are essential contributors to achieving the sustained and significant levels of industry expansion required in the UK’s low carbon energy generation sector over the coming years.

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Renewable Energy Deployment Beyond 2020

Today, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released a report, lead authored by Dr. Mark Hughes of Cambridge Modelling, on renewable energy deployment in Australia beyond 2020.

The report finds that investment in Australia’s renewable energy resources could stall in 2020 unless the Renewable Energy Target (RET) is increased out to 2030.

Modelling results presented in the report show that under the current carbon price scheme, with no increase of the RET after 2020, investment in most renewable energy industries will collapse post-2020 – for between 4 and 32 years – until cost convergence is achieved subject to carbon price.

Modelling indicates that a RET out to 2030 of between 137,000 GWh and 169,000 GWh (which is equivalent to a target of 43-53% of business-as-usual electricity demand) would prevent this post-2020 stall in renewable deployment and put Australia on the pathway to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

“The report also makes it clear we should be planning now to electrify the transport system and to grow renewable energy to meet the increased demand in the electricity sector”, said WWF’s Climate Change National Manager, Kellie Caught, “We can’t keep ignoring rising emissions from transport; electrification from renewable energy is the obvious solution.”

The report finds that removing the carbon price would mean having to find $65 billion over the next 40 years for renewable energy investment to deliver the same results.

“Transitioning to 100% renewables is desirable, technically achievable, affordable, and popular amongst Australians. What we need now is for governments to bring the renewable economy into reality,” Ms Caught said.

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Impact of Solar PV Feed-in Tariff Changes

Cambridge Modelling published a report today that examines the impact of government plans to reduce feed-in tariffs on the UK solar photovoltaic industry.

“The proposed changes to the feed-in tariff scheme will significantly delay the development of UK solar photovoltaic industry efficiencies,” said Dr. Mark Hughes, Director at Cambridge Modelling. “In the absence of the changes, small solar photovoltaic installations are set to achieve grid parity (equality with retail electricity prices) by 2019. The changes to the scheme will delay grid parity and extend the need for feed-in tariff support by approximately 3 years,” said Dr. Hughes.

The report also identifies important omissions from the DECC consultation on the feed-in tariff changes.

Dr. Hughes said, “Large savings for electricity consumers from the development of UK solar photovoltaic industry efficiencies under the existing tariff schedule have been overlooked. In 2020 alone, these missed savings could exceed £57 million”.

Dr. Hughes also warned that, “The DECC consultation assumes optimistic capital cost forecasts and large reductions in the rate of return on investment which leaves the UK solar photovoltaic industry with no margin for module price fluctuations in a traditionally volatile market.”

“Cambridge Modelling recommends a more comprehensive approach to the determination of feed-in tariff reductions, based on long-term price trends, to ensure steady and sustainable levels of growth in the UK solar photovoltaic industry,” said Dr. Hughes.

For further information, please download the full report, “UK Solar PV Industry: Implications of the Planned Feed-in Tariff Reductions”.

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UK Solar PV Industry: Implications of the Planned Feed-in Tariff Reductions

This report examines the impact of the UK government’s planned reduction in feed-in tariffs (FITs) for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations up to 250 kW. The analysis described here explores key considerations, not covered in the consultation on the Comprehensive Review Phase 1, that are pertinent to grid parity in the UK solar PV industry, the price of retail electricity and national commitments under the Renewable Energy Directive.

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Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Cambridge Modelling is working with Climate Risk and the World Wildlife Fund to model key operational considerations for the newly created Clean Energy Finance Corporation that will invest $10 billion into the commercialisation and deployment of renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies.

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Feed-In Tariffs

Cambridge Modelling has added a new extension module to the Low Carbon Simulator which provides additional functionality for examining the impact of feed-in tariff policies and changes therein. This new module is currently being used to assess the impact of changes to solar photovoltaic feed-in tariffs proposed by the UK Government and due to take effect in December 2011.

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Implications for Infrastructure

Cambridge Modelling is working with Climate Risk and Infrastructure Partnerships Australia to model the infrastructural impacts of recent changes made by the Australian Government to key climate change policies. Our preliminary modelling results have identified additional opportunities for utilising domestic abatement infrastructure that were overlooked by the Government’s forecasting. Ongoing scenario modelling is being used to test the timing and targeting of the Government’s proposed funding structure and to identified any dislocations in key infrastructure development.

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