United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Wind turbine manfacturers pressure UK government

UK: Seven offshore wind turbine manufacturers have written to the UK energy minister Ed Davey expressing concern at the country's current energy policy.

Siemens, Vestas, Alstom, Areva, Mitsubishi, Doosan, Gamesa and Vestas have all signed a letter asking Davey to push forward binding 2030 targets. The company's said the policy would reduce the risks in investing in the UK.

The letter also made threat to cancel plans to build turbine manufacturing plants in the UK. It said: "Historically the UK has benefited from being known as a country with low political risk for energy investments. Undermining that reputation would have damaging consequences for the scale of future investments in the UK energy sector. It is important to protect that reputation carefully."

Out of the companies, Vestas and Doosan have already cancelled plans to build manufacturing plants in the UK, in Sheerness, Kent and Scotland respectively. While Siemens and Gamesa are still moving ahead with plans to build plants in Hull, northern England and Leith, Scotland respectively.

Less is known about the other companies' plans. Alstom has been looking for factory locations in the north of England, although the last update on this was published in 2011. In April, Areva announced it was also looking for a site.

All of the manufacturers have expressed concern at the lack of clarity in the UK's energy policy, especially with regard to the investment required for the 33GW Round 3 offshore programme.

Notably, both Repower and GE are absent from the letter. GE was originally set to make a multi-million investment in the UK to build it's 4.1MW turbine there. While Repower's CEO Andreas Nauen has previously said the company was considering a UK plant but would only proceed if the orders were made.

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