The Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant effect on economic activity across the globe - and the renewable energy sector has not been shielded from this.

Despite this, however, the industry remains optimistic about its long-term future. It is widely recognised that resilience has always been a key feature of the renewable energy sector.

Investment in low carbon infrastructure is a long-term investment. The drivers behind the need for renewable energy generation and meeting challenging Net Zero targets are unlikely to be significantly impacted once the economic slowdown and crisis are over. In many ways, the sector now has a strong opportunity to ensure that it is at the forefront of the rebuilding that our economy needs, together with advancing the energy transition and the low carbon benefits that it will bring to society as a whole.

A number of Burness Paull’s key renewable energy clients share this view and we continue to press ahead with new project acquisitions and developments. In terms of activity, we are have seen some of the following trends during the last six months:

  • Onshore wind development continues at pace in Scotland, with the next generation of projects being advanced – both as potential CfD projects and on a subsidy-free basis
  • Increasing interest in offshore wind, with Round 4 and ScotWind leasing processes currently running in England and Scotland (respectively)
  • Large industrial and commercial consumers of electricity actively looking at onsite generation as a means of reducing energy costs, increasing energy security, and lowering carbon emissions
  • Energy transition technologies gathering pace with a focus on the UKCS, including platform electrification and carbon capture and storage
  • New technologies, including energy storage, EVs and charging infrastructure, and hydrogen fuel projects, are finding their feet with developers increasingly active in progressing and acquiring new projects and innovative solutions

The pandemic has very much brought into focus the type of measures that are required to deal with an “emergency” - and with climate change being treated as an “emergency”, we believe that opportunities will exist across the entire energy sector in the coming years and decade as governments across the globe tackle the impending climate emergency and seek to meet Net Zero targets. We very much look forward to working with and supporting our key clients as they make the most of the opportunities that are out there, across the entire energy spectrum.

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