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Norfolk Boreas cancellation offers a blow for UK offshore wind ambition

Scroby Sands wind farm off the Norfolk coast, as seen from sand dunes at Caister-on-Sea close to Nice Yarmouth.

Swedish wind farm developer Vattenfall’s 20 July choice to cancel work on the 1.4GW Norfolk Boreas website seems to be a big blow for UK wind energy, and the nation’s internet zero plans usually.

The funding choice has been attributed to prices on the mission rising by as much as 40%, seemingly as a result of inflation and better capital prices – which have affected the vitality sector usually – along with the geopolitical state of affairs, to which offshore wind and its provide chain are particularly uncovered.

Vattenfall chief govt Anna Borg, quoted within the Monetary Instances, stated “it merely doesn’t make sense to proceed this mission.”

A scarcity of political incentives additionally seemed to be implicated within the transfer, with an announcement from the agency mentioning that ”monetary frameworks haven’t tailored to mirror the present market circumstances.”

In February, wind farm builders urged governments to answer the pressures dealing with the sector, with further subsidies or tax breaks, together with Ørsted, the world’s largest offshore wind developer.

Norfolk Boreas was the deliberate first section of the Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone which secured a Contract for Distinction in July 2022, guaranteeing inflation-linked costs from £37.35 per MW/hour.

The cancellation of one of many nation’s greatest deliberate offshore wind installations is a setback for the federal government’s plan to extend capability from 14 GW to 50 GW by 2030.

Many companies within the renewable vitality sector appeared to really feel the federal government ought to merely reply with applicable measures to assist corporations tackle the rising prices and provide chain vulnerabilities.

Scottish Renewables chief govt Claire Mack stated the announcement was “a serious get up name for the UK Authorities who’re failing to take account of the elevated value pressures and financial challenges dealing with offshore wind builders.”

“If initiatives in England are pausing improvement as a result of they don’t seem to be commercially viable then the initiatives that we now have right here in Scotland, that are costlier to function than these elsewhere within the nation, are below menace and are clearly much more susceptible to those value pressures.

“ScotWind is ready to play a serious function within the UK hitting its net-zero ambitions and is a chance to ship an offshore wind business that may assist hundreds of jobs but when builders delay, pause or pull out of funding choices utterly it means shoppers will face greater payments for longer and builders’ potential to put money into native provide chains might be undermined.

“The UK Authorities must urgently evaluate its funding framework for offshore wind and recognise the heavier prices on initiatives right here in Scotland or they face dropping this as soon as in a lifetime alternative to allow the perfect initiatives to realize their internet zero and industrial progress ambitions.”

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