UK Energy Bill Delays Could Harm Narec’s Offshore Wind Demonstration Project

UK Energy Bill Delays Could Harm Narec’s Offshore Wind Demonstration Project

Delays to the Energy Bill could affect the National Renewable Energy Centre’s (Narec) Blyth Offshore Wind Demonstration Project, along with other large offshore wind projects in the North Sea, The Journal cites Steve Abbott, Narec’s marketing and communications manager, as saying.

The British Government’s delays in electricity market reform are momentarily not an issue, as the project is in the application process, but they could harm it in the long run. This would happen after the company gets consent and starts to look for investment in the site from large-scale global manufacturers, who might decline to invest due to uncertainty in the renewable subsidy regime, Mr. Abbot said.

“If project developers are saying they are delaying investment, manufacturers will not be developing as many new models and our testing facility would be directly affected,”  The Journal quoted Mr. Abbot.

Recently, Keith Anderson, the CCO of Iberdrola in the UK and the head of ScottishPower Renewables, also warned about the delays to the Energy Bill, which will cause a standstill to a number of projects that are ready to start with the construction.

With this reform of the electricity market the existing subsidy regime for renewables will be replaced, however, it will take quite some time before it enters into legislation, so developers will not be able to sign up until 2015. Even though the Government has pledged to grant interim subsidies, without the full support by legislation, they will not make a firm ground for major investments.

Narec has submitted an application for the construction and operation of the Blyth Offshore Demonstration Project to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).

If the application receives consent from the MMO, it is anticipated that the Blyth Offshore Wind Demonstration Project will be constructed on an array-by-array basis in a maximum of three construction phases.

The proposed project at Blyth will comprise a maximum of 15 pre-commercial prototype turbines to be constructed across three arrays, with a maximum number of 5 turbines in each array with turbines positioned in water depths from 35m to 58m and distances from the coast between 5.7km and 13.8km.

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Offshore WIND Staff, February 7, 2013; Image: Narec

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