Industry Fears “the Devil in the Detail” of Offshore Wind Policy

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd might have given the nod that offshore wind would be in favour for this parliament but the industry is still in the dark about the detail, director of the East of England Energy Zone (EEEZ) James Gray told the Offshore Wind Vessels conference in London.

The industry needed to step up its lobbying for an increase in UK content of future wind farm, he said. If farms off UK coasts continued to be mostly built out from overseas, industry development in the UK would not be politically sustainable.

The industry feared “the devil in the detail” in what will come next from the energy secretary, Gray said.

“The industry generally welcomed her statement but we were told there would be three auctions during this parliament but we have yet to hear when, their value or anything to inform the supply chain about the requirements.

“The UK supply chain needs to be confident there will be an increase in UK content.”

The conference was attended by offshore wind developers, turbine manufacturers, other key component manufacturers, vessel operators and manufacturers.

Gray called on the industry to step up its lobbying.

“There is still more to play for, such as securing a clear path with government support through the 2020s.”

“It’s incumbent on the industry to demonstrate that offshore wind can provide a solid, secure and cost effective source of energy for the future.”

“Developers  have demonstrated that they can reduce costs and this trajectory of falling prices – and  lower subsidies – can be sustained to deliver value for money to HMG.

“It was also important to promote the huge economic benefits offshore wind could bring to stimulate economic regeneration in key coastal towns.

“Offshore wind is important to the future growth of ports like Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth , both of which have attracted new investment from the sector in recent months. We have strong support from local politicians, not least from our MPs Brandon Lewis, Great Yarmouth MP, and Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney.”