Major renewable energy companies welcome Minister’s offshore wind announcement

Companies which are investing billions of pounds in the UK’s world-leading offshore wind industry, creating thousands of jobs, are welcoming the announcement by the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry, of new auctions which will mean that the UK’s offshore wind capacity is set to nearly double over the next decade. Following comments released earlier today by RenewableUK and the Offshore Wind Industry Council, these firms  added their reactions:

Clark MacFarlane, Managing Director of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy UK said: “This is a positive commitment from the Government, which will see offshore wind playing a bigger part in the UK energy mix in the next decade. A regular commitment to auctions and higher deployment is exactly what the supply chain needs to consolidate today’s jobs and plan for the future ones.”

Matthew Wright, UK Managing Director of Ørsted said: “We’re really excited by this positive announcement for offshore wind in the UK. The UK has gained its status as the global leader in offshore wind by industry and Government working together to give businesses the confidence to invest in projects, which have consistently been delivered on time and on budget. Through Contracts for Difference, the industry has slashed its costs, led by projects like Hornsea Project Two, which recently won an auction at the lowest ever price for offshore wind in the UK, halving the auction prices seen just two and a half years earlier.

“The benefits of offshore wind are already being realised in coastal regions such as the Humber, where the industry has brought new skilled job prospects, opportunities for businesses and millions of pounds worth of community funding.”

Paul Cooley, SSE’s Director of Generation Development, said:  “SSE welcomes the announcement from BEIS today confirming that the next Contracts for Difference auction will take place in May 2019. The Government’s guarantee that auctions will be held every two years from 2019 onwards provides much needed certainty for the UK’s offshore wind industry. As a British company, SSE is committed to ensuring the most favourable outcomes for UK plc from its investment in the offshore wind supply chain. Alongside its joint venture partners, SSE is already delivering benefits to the UK through the construction of the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm, which will be operational in 2019.

Danielle Lane, UK Country Manager for Vattenfall said:. ‘We welcome today’s announcement of political support for the British offshore wind sector. At a time of uncertainty, providing visibility of future auctions will help support investment in clean growth and further drive down the cost of offshore wind. Vattenfall has invested around £3.5 billion in UK wind since we entered the market in 2008 and the Government’s announcement will help us to deliver jobs and growth around Britain in line with our purpose to power climate smarter living”’.

MHI Vestas Offshore Wind CEO, Philippe Kavafyan, said: “Through our involvement with Blyth Offshore Wind Park and other pioneering projects, MHI Vestas is committed to UK offshore wind expansion and innovation. With our local blade manufacturing on the Isle of Wight already providing exports, this announcement is welcome news as MHI Vestas stands ready to expand our industrial footprint in the South, but also in the North, to deliver on these upcoming projects.”

EDF Renewables CEO Matthieu Hue said, “This is very welcome news for the North East where we already have a strong presence with two offshore wind farms, Teesside and the Blyth offshore demonstrator wind farm. This also comes at a time where we are focussed on the Neart Na Gaoithe project, which will be a 450 MW offshore wind farm in the Firth of Forth and on our Lewis projects on the Western Isles, so we are very pleased the UK government is recognising what offshore and remote island wind have to offer to consumers across the country.”

Baroness Brown of Cambridge, the Offshore Wind Sector Champion, said: “This is a very welcome and timely announcement, which will help deliver ‘clean growth’ through decarbonisation of our electricity system. The offshore wind industry is a UK success story, with huge global potential- both to reduce CO2 emissions and for exports from an innovative UK supply chain.

“The long term commitment to this industry evident in the announcement of auctions going out to 2030 will give companies the confidence to invest in the UK. It gives us the opportunity to accelerate the exploitation of British technology,  with the support of the UK research and innovation base including the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the Energy Systems Catapult, and the UK’s world class universities”.


For further information, please contact:

Luke Clark, Head of External Affairs 0207 901 3037 or 07973 481 907

Robert Norris, Head of Communications, 0207 901 3013 or 07969 229 913