The UK’s largest operator of offshore wind farms, Dong Energy, is planning on doubling its investment in the next four years with a further £6bn in offshore wind projects adding new capacity by 2020. They are confident that the technology will continue to receive the government’s support into the future.
Dong Energy is not alone in their view, with another major player in the UK offshore wind sector, Sweden’s Vattenfall, also saying they are “optimistic” for the sector into 2016. The company has been experimenting with alternative kinds of turbines to see which are most cost-effective. They have plans for a European offshore wind development centre off the Scottish coast of Aberdeenshire, which has now gained planning approval from the British supreme court.
The positive stance of the companies is a major boost and seems to have been catalysed by amber Rudd’s recent statement of support for offshore wind, provided costs come down.
Brent Cheshire, Dong Energy’s UK head has said: “It was a concern that it took as long as it did, but we have now got it. I think there is the clarity we need to commit to new investment,” and made clear that the governments hopes that offshore wind would be subsidy free by 2023 were not likely to be realised.
This proposal will become the world’s first GigaWatt-scale windfarm, 80 miles offshore. Electricity generation is scheduled to commence at Hornsea with their 240 turbines generating the capacity to power 800,000 homes by 2020.