Scottish FM Urges for More Ambitious OW Development

first_imgScottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is calling on the UK Government to increase its ambition to develop offshore wind.Ms Sturgeon pointed to the fact that Scottish wind power is now substantially cheaper than nuclear, and said the lesson of the last decade of onshore wind development is that cost reductions require a meaningful long-term commitment to support investment at large-scale.The results of the UK Government’s first Contracts for Difference auction, announced last Thursday, show that real cost reductions are now being achieved in the supply of wind energy in Scotland. Onshore wind projects are now bidding successfully to supply power at a price substantially less than the £92.50 per megawatt hour that consumers will have to pay for the Hinkley C nuclear project.However, it is now clear that the future budget for offshore wind is unlikely to support Scottish ambitions to develop an industry. Only one Scottish offshore wind farm received a contract, while two major offshore wind farms were refused – leaving uncertainty over their future development.Ms Sturgeon believes now is the time for greater ambition and insists the UK Government must act immediately to provide confidence to the offshore wind industry, ensuring there is sufficient budget allocated to auctions to deliver the large-scale deployment and cost reduction that we have seen in onshore wind.Speaking ahead of her visit to Whitelee Windfarm, Scotland’s largest onshore windfarm, the First Minister said:“The results of the UK Government’s Contracts for Difference auction, announced last week, prove that renewables in Scotland are cost effective, with projects accounting for nearly half the allocated capacity but only an estimated one third of the cost.“I congratulate the Neart na Gaoithe project in the Firth of Forth and Scottish Power’s East Anglia development for securing contracts. These projects demonstrate the value of developing this industry: real jobs, clean electricity and valuable contracts for suppliers.“The UK Government must now show greater ambition for the Scottish offshore sector. We are already seeing cost reductions in offshore wind but the scale of growth planned for the sector will be a key driver to delivering further cost reductions for the long term benefit of consumers. It is essential that the UK Government provide confidence to the offshore wind industry that sufficient money will be available in future allocation rounds to allow the sector to move forward with assurance and enable costs to be further reduced.“Without this ambition Scotland risks missing the opportunity to cement the growth of an industry, with significant supply chain benefits, while decarbonising our energy supply.”Image: Scottish Governmentlast_img

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