* UK govt lists 10 clean energy projects for fast-track
* Eggborough coal plant biomass project not included
* Govt proposes auctions for mature renewable energy
By Nina Chestney
LONDON, Dec 19 Britain's Eggborough Power
Station faced an uncertain future on Thursday after a decision
by the British government not to make its biomass conversion
project eligible for fast-track support.
To boost investment in clean energy technology, the
government is reforming its electricity market and will replace
a renewables support mechanism called the Renewables Obligation
with a new scheme called "contracts-for-difference" (CfDs).
To avoid any pause in low-carbon energy generation while the
transition is taking place from 2014 to 2017, the government has
ranked 10 renewables projects to get early CfDs in late 2014.
The 10 projects include biomass conversion at two units of
the Drax coal-fired power station; biomass conversion at
Lynemouth Power Station; Dong Energy's Burbo Bank
offshore wind farm, Hornsea offshore wind farm and an extension
to its Walney offshore wind farm.
The full list is available at:
The Eggborough 2,000 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station
in North Yorkshire, which provides 4 percent of Britain's
electricity, was due to start work on the biomass project on
The lack of government support means the plant will no
longer supply electricity after 2015, Eggbourough Power Ltd said
in a statement on Thursday.
The lack of funding means the plant's number two generating
unit will no longer be operational from September 2014, removing
500 MW, or 1 percent of capacity, from Britain's electricity
grid, the company said.
"Unless a viable solution is found with government, the most
likely outcome now is that Eggborough will no longer be
supplying electricity to the grid beyond 2015," said Eggborough
Power Ltd.'s chief executive Neil O'Hara.
EU rules to limit carbon emissions and an additional British
tax on emissions make burning coal increasingly uneconomic. To
survive, many coal plants are considering converting to biomass.
The government also proposed on Thursday to establish an
auction system for more mature renewable energy technologies
alongside the introduction of the CfD mechanism.
The auction system would increase competition among more
established renewable energy technologies and help Britain meet
new guidelines for green energy subsidies laid out by the
European Commission last month, the government said.
It will decide early next year whether to implement the
auction system or not.
Owners of power plants that are able to switch on at short
notice, such as gas-fired power plants, will be able to
participate in a separate capacity market auction for the first
time in December next year, the government also said.
The capacity market will reward standby power plants for
providing electricity at short notice when renewable energy
productions falls short of demand.
The December 2014 capacity auction will pay winners for
providing standby power between Oct 1, 2018 and Sept. 30, 2019.
The mechanism is subject to state aid clearance from the