Offshore wind is one of the industrial sectors where the United Kingdom dominates globally. Costs have plummeted to the point where it’s cheaper for new gas and nuclear power. Last year alone the UK accounted for more than half of new offshore wind power capacity built across Europe. Much of this innovation, I’m proud to say, is being driven in the north east of England. Dogger Bank, which lies about 80 miles off our coast, will soon be home to the world’s largest offshore wind farm with a capital investment of more than £6 billion and a potential energy generation of more than 30GW. When built, this project will change the direction of UK energy policy for generations. Some are even talking about the UK becoming a net exporter of energy if we can grasp this opportunity. We didn’t get here by accident. Government policy, incentives and the relaxation of regulation all played their part in spurring the industry’s impressive growth, but we are at risk of losing out. While Britain has a head start, there’s a risk we we’ll lose our top spot if the government don’t commit to supporting this growing industry. Other countries, including China, Denmark and Germany, have recognised the importance that this technology will play in the development of their economies for decades to come and they are aggressively expanding their offshore energy industries. But if we are to truly drive the global offshore wind revolution, the government must give our industry the certainty it needs. Businesses like Innorgy and Equinor, which have the licenses to build at Dogger Bank, are asking the government to set a date for the next Contract for Difference auction. We’re told the auction will be in 2019, but industry is crying out for a concrete date and assurances that it won’t be pushed back. This auction may sound like a technicality, but it allows the sector to properly plan. Business need certainty and for the offshore industry they need the certainty of government commitment to the auction. Setting a date for the auction allows the UK supply chain to ready itself for a huge investment opportunity. It allows business to ready its workforce and train the people required for such a massive task and it allows for business to invest ready for an opportunity that could see the UK leading this sector globally for decades to come.
Times 5th July 2018 read more »
Community leaders are to meet a government minister to discuss proposals for a 30-acre windfarm substation which has been branded as “unacceptable” by opponents. There has been uproar at the selection of a site near Friston for the project, which will provide the grid connection for Scottish Power Renewables’ (SPR) next two offshore windfarms, East Anglia ONE North and East Anglia TWO. Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey will meet Energy Minister Claire Perry next week to convey residents’ concerns. She will be joined at the meeting by councillors from both Suffolk Coastal District Council and Suffolk County Council as they seek a change to the plan.
East Anglian Daily Times 5th July 2018 read more »