Renewable energy auction fails to deliver new offshore turbines

There were zero bids to establish new wind energy projects off the UK coast in a key government auction this week.

Companies were invited to submit bids to develop renewable energy projects that will supply the UK grid with electricity.

There were successful bids for onshore wind, solar, tidal and geothermal projects. However, there were none for offshore turbines, which are seen as the backbone of the UK’s renewable energy system.

Industry insiders said that the maximum price set by the government was too low and did not reflect the rising costs of building offshore wind farms, including higher steel prices.

There had been hopes that offshore wind in the latest round could have contributed enough electricity to power five million homes.

“Offshore wind is central to our ambitions to decarbonise our electricity supply and our ambition to build 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, including up to 5GW of floating wind, remains firm,” said Energy and Climate Change Minister Graham Stuart.

“The UK installed 300 new turbines last year and we will work with industry to make sure we retain our global leadership in this vital technology.”

Half of this year’s total capacity was secured by new solar projects, and there were also three winning projects for geothermal for the first time. In total, the 95 new projects are expected to power the equivalent of two million homes.