United Kingdom

United Kingdom

UK offshore projects 'face further attrition'

UK: The UK's seabed landlord, the Crown Estate, has warned that further offshore wind projects in British waters may face cuts or cancellation.

A number of planned projects have already been cut
A number of planned projects have already been cut

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The Crown Estate said that it expects some of the planned projects to "prove too costly or construction too challenging", meaning there will be "some further attrition in the pipeline of project".

A number of high-profile UK offshore projects have been cancelled or downsized over the last year. The clearest casualty is the 1.2GW Atlantic Array project in the Bristol Channel in south-west England. The Crown Estate later said the site of the axed project is unviable for development.

And despite Crown Estate claims that this represents "healthy attrition", worrying statements from a number of developers with Round 3 projects reveal greater risks to the UK's pipeline.

The body said that it expects there to be 700MW of offshore capacity under construction by the summer of 2015, with a further 4.9GW consented pre-construction and 11 GW in the consenting process.

In its annual report, the Crown Estate said that it expected these cuts despite the "recent energy market reform [that] has brought welcome clarity" on a regulatory basis.

In 2010 the UK embarked on the world's most ambitious offshore wind programme, awarding rights for the development of 32GW of projects under its Round 3 tender. But over the last year, cancellations and cuts have shaved 3.17GW from these plans.

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