#Great Britain, an emerging leader in #marine energies
"Les Échos" , DEC. 2nd
|Courtesy "Le Point"|
VINCENT COLLEN / CORRESPONDENT IN LONDON | DEC., 2nd
As #wind subsidies have been cut, industrials gave up some projects.
Great Britain has become the world leader in the sector of sea wind energy, as the country records 16,000 km of coasts, combined with powerful winds. Some 1,200 #turbines have been deployed in the British territorial waters, for a #power generation capacity over 4,000 MW, according to #RenewableUK, the institution representing the sector.
According to the figures released by the Energy ministry, sea wind turbines supplied over 3% of British power generation last year. Since the installation of the first #wind farm in 2000, growth has been buoyant, supported by a generous public subsidy framework.
Since the beginning of 2014, this situation is over. Subsidies have been reduced, even if their level is quite high, in order to reduce budget expenses. Now the government warrants a purchase price amounting to GBP 155 ( € 195) per MWh for sea wind energy, threefold the present market price. The first contracts regulated by these new rules will be attributed in 2015.
For their part, professionals welcome warmly the newly renewed visibility, as the change of regulations took months. But, “as new economic conditions took place, together with growing environmental concerns, many projects were no more profitable and have been given up”, Arnaud Bouillé said, a sector analyst by EY. 3RWE, a German operator, renounced to its British project. In September, #Technip, a French operator, closed its wind activity in the Scotland Sea.
For other reasons, #EDF also may reduce its targets. Together with Eneco, Netherlands’ operator, EDF is waiting for the approval of its project named Navitus Bay, located on the English South coast, close to the Island of Wight. Facing some local representatives’ opposition, the company has submitted a less ambitious project, with less turbines, set farther from the coast. As such, the project would produce only 630 W instead of the initial 970 MW in the first draft.
Upcoming projects remain important. Four farms are in the course of construction, fifteen others have been approved and four others are waiting authorities’ go. To date, it would amount to 3,000 additional turbines for a capacity overtaking 16,000 MW. In other words, Great Britain expects to increase by five its generation capacities in sea wind generation.
Intending to go further in the subject? Read also: