No more blank cheques for offshore wind, says Amber Rudd

The UK Government will no longer issue “blank cheques” for offshore wind projects. As part of the energy policy reset announced yesterday, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said while the costs […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The UK Government will no longer issue “blank cheques” for offshore wind projects.

As part of the energy policy reset announced yesterday, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said while the costs for the renewable technology have been reduced by at least 20% in the last two years, it is still “too expensive”.

She added: “Our approach will be different – we will not support offshore wind at any cost. Further support will be strictly conditional on the cost reductions we have seen already accelerating. The technology needs to move quickly to cost-competitiveness.”

Under current plans, the government expects to see 10GW of offshore wind installed by 2020.

Ms Rudd also announced DECC will hold the next auction for renewable energy subsidies by the end of 2016 and a further two over the course of the current government’s term.

However she added: “If, and only if, the government’s conditions on cost reduction are met – we will make funding available for three auctions in this Parliament.

“Industry tells us they can meet that challenge and we will hold them to it. If they don’t there will be no subsidy.”

The Energy Secretary said subsidies should be temporary and not part of a permanent business model and also proposed to close coal-fired power plants by 2025, increase gas and nuclear generation.

They are part of the government’s plans to to develop a “cleaner and more secure” energy network.

“By 2025, with a new nuclear power station built, offshore wind competing with other renewables, unabated coal a thing of the past and smart energy coming into its own we will have transformed our energy system,” Ms Rudd said.