Wind project delays prevent UK from meeting offshore capacity and emission reduction targets


GlobalData analysis show that delays in project approvals are likely to hamper the UK from meeting goals for offshore wind power and reduction of emissions within the agreed time period.

Although there are no visible signs that the UK Government’s long-term commitment to offshore wind is wavering, developers are frustrated by the delays in approval decisions, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

“Further delays in approvals could lead developers to doubt the UK’s commitment to the offshore wind sector. This could also make it difficult for the UK to achieve its emission target – ‘UK 2050 net-zero target.

“Two offshore wind farms (Hornsea 3 and The Norfolk Boreas wind farm) that were supposed to start construction already have not done because of delayed permits. In June 2020, the government extended the deadline to grant permits for another large offshore wind farm  – Vattenfall’s 1.8 GW Norfolk Vanguard project. Further, the government also rejected the Thanet Extension project, stating an impact on the shipping industry. Large offshore wind projects are essential to generate clean power on a scale that would likely help the nation decarbonize the economy and make significant advancements in the path of net-zero emissions.”

Somik Das, power analyst at GlobalData.

In October 2019, the Hornsea 3 project was awaiting approval decisions but was delayed citing environmental concerns. The wind farm in Norfolk Boreas was awaiting approval decisions in May 2020 but this was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These delays are likely to affect the chances of the UK meeting the target of 40 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030, which currently stands at around 10GW.”

Somik Das, power analyst at GlobalData.
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