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Uncertain future for UK large-scale solar power plants if Contracts for Difference scheme fails to deliver

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By Finlay Colville, Head of Market Intelligence, Solar Media

Solar auctions | The proposed closure of the UK’s Renewable Obligation programme to solar from next March would leave the Contracts for Difference programme as the only form of support for large-scale PV. Finlay Colville looks at the prospects for an auction-based system taking off in the UK.

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For those in the utility solar business, 2015 has so far offered no shortage of landmarks. Since the start of the year, the record for the world’s largest PV power plant has been both equalled and beaten, with the completion in the US of the Desert Sunlight and Solar Star projects respectively. The industry has also notched up two important pricing milestones. In January 2015, news broke that a project in Dubai had attracted what was thought to be the lowest ever bid price for a solar project, of US$0.0585/kWh. That record proved short lived, however, when, in July, US firm First Solar revealed it had agreed to a price of US$0.0387/kWh for power from its 100MW Playa Solar 2 project in Nevada.

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