Government Backs Offshore Wind and Tidal Energy

Chancellor George Osborne has issued the Autumn Statement which sets out the next stage of the government’s long-term economic plan.

According to the document the government is working to bring private capital into the Green Investment Bank through a new fund for private investment in operational offshore wind assets and wider options.

The government will report on progress at Budget 2015.

Furthermore, the government is committed to achieving its low carbon energy goals through a range of technologies. In an effort to achieve these goals the government awarded early Contracts for Difference to five offshore wind projects in July 2014.

The government also believes that there may be significant tidal lagoon potential in the UK which is why the Department for Energy and Climate Change has started to explore the potential for a future lagoon programme. The government will start closer discussions with Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd to establish whether a potential tidal lagoon project at Swansea Bay is affordable and value for money for consumers. If the project progresses, it could become the first tidal lagoon project in the world.

Juliet Davenport, chief executive of Good Energy said:

“We’re keen to see the government give backing to low-carbon infrastructure this Autumn Statement and are pleased to see support for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon – the only project in Wales.”

 Maf Smith, deputy chief executive of RenewableUK commented:

“The Government needs to ensure that potential investors in wind, wave and tidal energy projects remain confident that this is a priority sector to which Ministers are wholeheartedly committed. Unfortunately we’ve been getting mixed signals different parts of the Coalition for the last few years.

“We’re planning and building major clean energy infrastructure which requires long term certainly, particularly in the case of some of our larger offshore wind farms projects. Developers need clarity beyond the next election about the direction of policy in the 2020s, if we’re to avoid the danger of a hiatus in investment.”

Offshore WIND Staff; Image: hm treasury