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Green Light for Scottish Offshore Wind Farms

October 10, 2014 in Environment, EV News, Greentech, Politics, Wind

Scottish cabinet Green Light for Scottish Offshore Wind Farms Photo courtesy of the Scottish Government

Scottish cabinet
Green Light for Scottish Offshore Wind Farms
Photo courtesy of the Scottish Government

RenewableUK statement on green light for Scottish offshore wind farms, and reaction to Galloper offshore wind farm announcement

RenewableUK has welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement that it has given the go-ahead to 4 Scottish offshore wind farms. Inch Cape, Neart na Gaoithe and Seagreen Alpha and Bravo have a combined capacity of 2,284 megawatts (MW) – enough to power 1.4 million homes.

RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery, said: “This announcement more than doubles the capacity of offshore wind consented in Scottish waters to more than 4 gigawatts. If all these projects go ahead, they’ll power more than three million homes a year. It’s encouraging to see the Scottish Government taking further steps towards their target of generating the equivalent of 100% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

“These consents mean that the 4 projects will now enter the next phase, competing for financial support under the Government’s Contracts for Difference scheme – a limited pot of funding which will be fiercely contested among developers”.

In response to RWE’s announcement that it does not intend to continue with the development of its 340MW Galloper offshore wind farm project (27 km off the coast of Suffolk) in its current form, Maria McCaffery, said: “Offshore wind projects stopping unnecessarily should be a matter of concern for Government. RWE’s announcement shows that getting projects actually built can’t be taken for granted, even after they’ve received consent and even after early construction work has begun.

“The fundamental changes introduced by the Government to provide financial support for renewables – the transition from the Renewables Obligation to Contracts for Difference – have left developers working under extraordinarily challenging conditions. In some cases, the level of financial risk is now so great that major projects are grinding to a halt.

“This means that British jobs and economic growth are being jeopardised. More than 13,000 people in the UK now owe their livelihoods to offshore wind. Supply chain companies up and down the country are counting on projects such as Galloper to go ahead. In the long term, it means that our potential to employ up to 44,000 people in the UK’s offshore wind sector by 2023 is being undermined.

“Underpinning everything is the need for a clear vision from Government for the period beyond 2020, so that we can plan accordingly. The lack of a long-term strategy is stifling confidence and large-scale projects may fall by the wayside. To provide the UK with energy security, as well as bringing down costs through economies of scale, the industry needs to know how much offshore wind capacity Ministers want to see installed by 2030. That would send an unequivocal signal to investors and thaw the freeze in the board rooms of big companies seeking to invest billions in Britain’s renewable energy sector”.

The UK has 22 operational offshore wind farms (3,654MW), powering more than 2,475,000 British homes a year. A further 5 projects are under construction (1,401MW), 14 have planning consent but not yet under construction (7,263MW), 5 are in the planning system awaiting a decision (7,630MW) and 15 are under development but not yet in the planning system (16,870MW). This represents a total of 61 UK offshore wind projects (36,817MW).

About RenewableUK

RenewableUK is the UK’s leading renewable energy trade association, specialising in onshore wind, offshore wind and wave & tidal energy. Formed in 1978, we have an established, large corporate membership ranging from small independent companies, to large international corporations and manufacturers. Acting as a central point of information and a united, representative voice for our membership, we conduct research; find solutions; organise events, facilitate business development, and promote wind and marine renewables to government, industry, the media and the public. Our vision is for renewable energy to play a leading role in powering the UK.

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: RenewableUK.

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