United Kingdom

United Kingdom

"Co-operative competition" needed in offshore

UK: The Crown Estate has called for greater collaboration in the offshore market to reduce costs and keep the sector growing beyond 2020.

Dong's West of Duddon Sands project went online in 2014, helping the UK hit 4GW in offshore capacity
Dong's West of Duddon Sands project went online in 2014, helping the UK hit 4GW in offshore capacity

The UK's seabed landlord hailed what it called a landmark year for the offshore sector as it reached 4GW in installed capacity.

However, a large number of projects have been cancelled this year, including the 4GW Celtic Array and the 1.5GW Argyll Array.

Huub den Rooijen, the Crown Estate's head of offshore, said "co-operative competition" would continue to bring down costs, which he admitted are still too high.

"The technology is still young and relatively costly, and in a world of technology competition and consumer price concerns it is imperative that costs continue to come down."

Den Rooijen called on the government and industry to set out a plan for the sector beyond 2020 if it is to continue with the "double-digit growth" expected in the coming years.

"With a general election approaching fast [in the UK], the ball is now in the industry's court to demonstrate that it is up for the challenge to deliver the large-scale projects being developed off our shores at a competitive price level," he said.

"What better way to achieve this than for the government to take the industry at its word, and open up the vast offshore project opportunities to price competition."

Den Rooijen welcomed investment in the sector from the Green Investment Bank's £1 billion (EUR 1.3 billion) offshore wind fund and its backing of the 210MW Westermost Rough and the 576MW Gwynt y Mor projects this year.

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