Major offshore wind operator DONG energy announces £6Bn investment by 2020
Published: 04 Jan 2016 By Matthew Cook
DONG Energy is convinced the UK government will support the offshore wind sector despite the recent cuts to renewable energy subsidies.
Source: The Guardian
Another major operator, Vattenfall has also voiced a similar opinion expressing its optimism about 2016 and is currently planning to proceed with the development of a turbine testing site off Scotland this summer.
The statements from leading operators are a welcomed boost to Amber Rudd, the secretary of state for energy and climate change, who has been under fire for the recent subsidy cuts to solar and other low-carbon sectors despite signing up to the Paris climate change accord.
DONG's UK division chairman Brent Cheshire stated; “It was a concern that it took as long as it did [for ministers to recommit to offshore wind] but we have now got it. I think there is the clarity we need to commitment to new investment,”
Cheshire suggested that it made more sense for the UK government to support the offshore wind sector than backing the expensive development of Hinkley Point C nuclear station.
Cheshire also went on to raise the issue that it would take sufficient time for wind companies to cut offshore windfarm expenses and aims for the wind industry to become 'subsidy-free' by 2023 were unrealistic.
Vattenfall has for years being trying to build a European offshore wind deployment centre off the Scottish coast in Aberdeenshire, but has faced legal opposition from American billionaire and Republican presidential hopeful, Donald Trump. The British supreme court has now ruled the project can go ahead.
The centre would allow the Swedish-based company behind windfarms in Thanet and Kentish Flats to experiment with different kinds of turbines to see which are the most cost-effective.
Vattenfall said it was upbeat about offshore wind after Rudd said last month she would support the industry as long as it brought costs down.
“We are optimistic about offshore wind and although we still think there may be potential investment opportunities onshore we are more cautious about that,” the Vattenfall spokesman said.