‘No better time’ for overseas investment

13 November 2019

A ‘perfect storm’ of factors means that there has never been a better time for overseas funds to invest in the UK’s energy infrastructure, according to our CEO Peter Kavanagh.

Despite the political uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the upcoming General Election, falling technology prices, the low pound and a genuine shift towards green energy is boosting the appeal for overseas investors.

“If investors can park the political bias, they will see that this is a thriving industry, with proven technologies at rapidly dwindling costs, supported by national policy as we strive to reach the 2050 net zero target,” Peter says.

“Add the low pound and a global awakening to climate change issues, and I’d argue there has never been a better time for overseas funds to invest in UK renewable energy.

“Since 2008, the UK has decarbonised its electricity generation faster than 25 major economies, ahead of Denmark, the US and China, according to Imperial College London and energy consultancy E4tech. This shift didn’t happen by accident, it was a result of hefty subsidies which kickstarted a low-carbon industry.

“But now things feel different. We are changing the way in which we produce, store and use electricity at pace – and mass critical infrastructure is needed to maintain that pace.”

We must also credit the falling cost of wind turbines, solar photovoltaics and battery storage technology, which is making green energy assets an attractive investment of their own accord, even without the subsidies of recent years.

As the more established technologies, wind and solar will naturally attract investment, but battery storage is also proving popular. This is the key to energy flexibility; the missing link which provides the capability to store energy from renewable sources and provide the crucial flexibility the UK grid requires both in terms of controlling grid frequency and providing backup during periods of peak demand and supply. Without energy storage, renewable energy on a large scale is not viable in the long term.

Battery storage technology is well established but using storage on the grid is still in its infancy, providing multiple opportunities in a market which is set to grow in line with national policy and demand. It’s an exciting time to be involved.

Battery

Battery energy storage systems (BESS) are the key to unlocking the full potential of intermittent renewable energy; the more renewable energy that is connected, the more important the ability to manage its intermittent nature becomes. Harmony have 42MW/84MWh BESS operating in the UK, with a future 326MW/652MWh in build.

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Solar

Harmony Energy is currently developing large solar PV farms, using our project expertise to support landowners throughout the development process.

In the UK Harmony is developing 200MWs of standalone solar projects and 500MWs of solar projects co-located with its battery projects

Solar PV is a proven, cost-effective technology and many countries around the world are turning to it to help meet their energy needs.

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Wind

Harmony Energy has built and operated 15 wind power sites in the UK, so we have a wealth of project and technical expertise to share with landowners.

Our wind business was backed by one of the world’s largest infrastructure investors - Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). The majority of the portfolio was sold to Blackfinch Investments in 2019.

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