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Missed opportunity for floating offshore wind in Wales

4C Offshore | Mark Casey
By: Mark Casey 08/09/2023 Marine Energy Wales
Marine Energy Wales

The Celtic Sea Developer Alliance, managed by Marine Energy Wales, has expressed its disappointment that no floating offshore wind projects won contracts in the latest round (AR5) of the UK Government’s renewable auction, including Erebus, Wales’s pioneering planned floating offshore wind farm, which received the necessary environmental consents earlier this year.

The results suggest that the strike price set for electricity was too low to make offshore wind projects viable, discouraging developers from submitting bids.

The Celtic Sea has the potential to deliver 24GW of renewable energy through floating offshore wind turbines, and Wales has the potential to be a global player, but without support and backing from UK Government, the CSDA believes we are at risk of falling behind.

These projects are vital to meet the UK Government’s 5GW floating offshore wind target by 2030, and today is a huge blow to these ambitions and efforts to reach Net Zero.

Tom Hill, Marine Energy Wales Programme Manager and Chair of the Celtic Sea Developer Alliance expressed his disappointment at today’s announcement:“Today’s news is deeply worrying for the sector. The UK Government is not providing the confidence for investment that this industry desperately needs. Unless the CfD process is reformed to move away from a focus on competition for the lowest price per electron, the supply chain in Wales and the UK will be disadvantaged, particularly at this stage, where developments are in their infancy. The absence of offshore wind developers on the list of contract winners is also a huge blow for Wales and Welsh Government Net Zero ambitions. The fact that the Erebus project could now be delayed will have tremendous knock-on-effects on Welsh supply chain, ports and send the wrong message to the world.”

For more information about offshore wind farm projects across the globe, click here.


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