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RenewableUK statement on SSE announcement

26 March 2014

Reacting to today’s announcement by SSE that it has decided to maintain investment in Beatrice offshore wind farm, although it has decided not to proceed in the long-term with its stake in Galloper offshore wind farm (50% ownership stake) or the Islay project (100%), and it is not able to make a long-term commitment to Seagreen (50%), or Forewind (25%), RenewableUK Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery, said:

“This announcement demonstrates very clearly the need for the Government to provide greater confidence for investors in its long-term support for Britain’s offshore wind industry.

If we could rely on more certainty and less risk, firm commitment to the huge financial investments involved would secure all the economic benefits of energy independence in a shorter timescale.

“Only yesterday we had the good news that Siemens and Associated British Ports will be creating at least 1,000 jobs in East Yorkshire, revitalising the Alexandra Dock at Green Port Hull and manufacturing offshore wind turbine blades. However, if we want to see more manufacturers basing themselves in the UK, they need to know that there will be a long-term market up to 2030 and beyond.

“As the SSE announcement makes clear there are some aspects of policy which are troubling developers, so policy makers should take notice. The lack of clarity about the Government’s support for offshore wind past 2020 is in stark contrast to its support for nuclear where they’ve set out a clear package of financial support.

“Although it’s disappointing that one of SSE’s offshore wind projects won’t be going ahead, there are other major stakeholders involved in the other three projects. Changes to the investment partners in such huge projects is not uncommon, as we saw in December, when DONG Energy acquired Centrica’s stake in Race Bank offshore wind farm, and earlier when Masdar bought Shell’s share in the London Array, now operational and acclaimed as the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

“Overall we still have a busy and dynamic offshore sector. The UK has 22 offshore wind farms currently operational, 5 under construction and 9 with planning consent. We’ve installed 3,653MW (megawatts) of wind energy in UK waters - enough to power more than two and a half million homes and cement our world leadership position in this technology. Almost 15,000MW more is currently in the pipeline”.

(ends)

For further information, please contact:

· Jennifer Webber, Director of External Affairs, 020 7901 3012 or 07792 463445 Jennifer.Webber@RenewableUK.com

· Robert Norris, Head of Communications, 020 7901 3013 or 07969 229913 Robert.Norris@RenewableUK.com

 

Notes:

1. RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with nearly 600 corporate members, RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK: http://www.renewableuk.com/

2. More details on SSE’s announcement can be found here: http://sse.com/newsandviews/allarticles/2014/03/notification-of-close-period,-value-programme-and-household-energy-prices-in-great-britain/

 

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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.