HomeBusinessUK Offshore Wind Expansion Threatened by Rising Costs Deterring Developers

UK Offshore Wind Expansion Threatened by Rising Costs Deterring Developers

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The UK’s goal of ramping up offshore wind capacity faces headwinds as rising costs deter developer participation in key government auctions. These contracts guaranteeing minimum electricity prices are vital to hitting the UK’s 2050 net zero emissions target.

But the renewables sector warns that maximum pricing offers may no longer cover surging expenses. “Developers might not participate or might secure the lowest [contract] levels since 2015,” states one industry group, owing to insufficient government terms.

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Cost inflation has already led firms like Vattenfall to suspend major wind projects. Despite the UK boasting the world’s second-largest offshore wind market, developers argue contract prices haven’t kept pace with reality.

Around 5GW of capacity is up for auction this year, but a £44 per MWh ceiling price in 2012 terms may not attract bidders facing up to 40% cost jumps. Executives are urging the government to address this growing viability gap.

While still committed to expanding offshore wind, the UK must confront the industry’s new economics or risk missing green energy targets. As cost headwinds blow fiercer, lackluster auctions will only widen capacity shortfalls.

Rising expenses may blow the UK off course in offshore wind’s crucial decade of growth. But with supportive policy adjustments, its global leadership position need not be lost to economic storms. The pivot to affordable clean power depends on it.

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Shanaz Khan
Shanaz Khan
Shanaz Khan, Co-founder, COO & UK Editorial Lead

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