A new fleet of flexible gas generation units combined with energy storage and ever-cheaper renewables will offer the best deal for consumers. So says Alan Baker, Chief Executive of new venture Forsa Energy, which has been set up to build and operate energy projects Europe-wide. Forsa Energy has been created from London-based Velocita Energy Developments and Scottish developer 2020 Renewables, and starts off with an existing portfolio more than 750MW fully-consented onshore wind and energy storage schemes.
They believe that flexible energy generation will offer the best value for consumers and will dominate the rapidly-changing energy market in the decades to come. And they now aim to develop, build and operate gas, renewable and energy storage projects across the continent. “The market is changing so fast it is hard for government and regulators to keep up,” says Baker, the former head of 2020 Renewables and Velocita. “The recent auction of offshore wind contracts – where costs have more than halved – shows that renewable energy projects will continue to get cheaper as long as there is a market for their power. “At the same time, storage technologies offer new possibilities for how energy can be generated and managed, whilst small-scale decentralised gas generation can deliver flexibility and fast response,” Baker says. “This is just what future markets will need. Old coal-fired stations are closing down, we’ve got increasingly cheap but intermittent renewables, plus an electric vehicle revolution on the horizon – so we’ll see lots of peaks and troughs in energy supply and demand. “Every country in Europe will need an energy mix that is low carbon and very responsive. “The great news is that all of these technologies can be delivered at zero or very low subsidy,” Baker adds. “And – if you put them in them in the right combination – they can deliver very stable low carbon energy far cheaper, and just reliably as other forms of baseload generation.
Forsa Energy is now banking that their expanding energy portfolio will deliver exactly what this changing landscape requires. They have boosted their team with experienced players in the gas generation sector. Their current portfolio comprises 150 MW of consented and 225MW of advanced development onshore wind and a fully-consented 400MW pumped storage scheme being developed in conjunction with joint venture partner Buccleuch. And they believe their business can help drive down costs further. “We’ve seen it in offshore wind and we think we can help onshore wind drive down their costs too,” says Baker. “At Forsa Energy, we offer a global approach – we have the ability to access global funds and have strong relationships with banks, suppliers and power offtakers. This means we can deliver projects in an innovative and integrated way,” Baker concludes. They are now ‘actively pursuing’ opportunities in the UK and across Europe.