United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Solution emerging to close funding gap for offshore wind in Britain

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A solution is emerging that might close the funding gap for offshore wind projects in the UK, according to Gordon Edge of the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA). Income under the UK's Renewables Obligation support scheme is not enough to allow Round Two offshore projects to be built, he told the BWEA's conference on offshore wind in April. "The government is alive to this issue." And, he added, it is focused on meeting its 2010 target of 10% of electricity from renewables. From discussions between the BWEA, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Treasury an outline of a solution is beginning to emerge, said Edge. This will be a package. No single measure could deliver the 4 GW of offshore wind needed to help meet the 10% target, he said. The package could include some form of "socialisation" of grid costs for offshore projects, enhanced capital allowances, and an additional incentive -- maybe revenue or capital grants -- that could be awarded to the first two to three gigawatts of Round Two projects or to capacity installed before 2010. It is still early days, cautions Edge. The industry and government are continuing to work on the package, but they are determined to make offshore wind happen, he said.

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