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Energy Bill offers short-term opportunities but long-term uncertainty for offshore wind

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Energi Coast, North East England’s Renewables Group, has welcomed the Government’s commitment to supporting offshore wind projects in the Energy Bill published today, but warned that the failure to establish a cap on Carbon Emissions by 2030 will only prolong the uncertainty of the supply chain.

Energi Coast has welcomed the Government’s commitment to supporting offshore wind projects in the Energy Bill published today, but warned that the failure to establish a cap on Carbon Emissions by 2030 will only prolong the uncertainty of the supply chain.

It was announced ahead of the Bill that £7.6billion would be made available for investment in renewable energy infrastructure by 2020, which will include offshore wind. 

It is hoped the confidence delivered by the Bill will create the opportunities required by the offshore renewables supply chain including the companies represented by Energi Coast.

Energi Coast, which is made up of a steering group of 24 North East companies, says that the region is primed to support the delivery of offshore wind projects.

Already Energi Coast companies have invested, between them, £400m in offshore wind activities and employ around 6,000.  The group predicts that a further 2,000 jobs could be created in the region if the stability and clarity can be achieved in the industry.

However, there is a concern that investment decisions post-2020 will be affected, which will impact on the large Round 3 projects, many of which will still be under construction in eight years’ time.  

The Bill does not include a limit for the amount of carbon dioxide that can be emitted per megawatt hour of power from the electricity sector by 2030.

Joanne Leng, Deputy Chairman of Energi Coast, said: “Offshore wind can help the country achieve its renewable energy targets, which has been recognised by the Energy Bill.  Providing £7.6billion worth of investment will give the industry an injection of confidence, which will support projects that can be served by this region’s skilled and cohesive supply chain. 

“The Secretary of State’s acknowledgement of the essential part the manufacturing supply chain has in achieving his low-carbon electricity ambitions was particularly welcome.  These companies are forming an integrated supply chain that can have an impact on reducing the cost of building and maintaining offshore wind farms.”

She added: “While this investment will support projects in the short term, the failure to establish a 2030 carbon cap for the power sector will prolong uncertainty well into the future.  Developers of Round 3 wind farms may well face decarbonisation target issues, which will spread further uncertainty across the sector.”

 

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