Offshore Renewable Energy Giants Appeal to EU for Binding Targets After 2020

07 June by Sally Woods


In an open letter to policymakers within the European Union, global giants including; General Electric, Siemens, RWE, Iberdrola, Statoil and Vattenfall have appealed to the EU to create a “stable long-term market for renewables in Europe”, stating that with the right support renewable energy can be commercially competitive with conventional fuels within 10 years.

Senior executives and CEOs from 11 companies wrote; “Offshore wind will be fully competitive with new conventional power generation within a decade. The industry is on track to achieve its cost reduction ambitions and will be an essential technology in Europe’s energy security and decarbonisation objectives.”

The UK is still the world leader in offshore wind, with 46% of the market, however the rest of the world is catching up (Germany is on 30%) and with the withdrawal of subsidies from 2016 new development has slowed and new UK projects, such as Neart na Gaoithe, are seriously under threat.

There is such potential in the UK and Europe for the Renewable Energy industry to lead the world, not only in energy generation, but also in manufacturing and innovation.  

As an extra incentive the letter states that by 2025 offshore wind should cost no more than €80 a megawatt hour.  This is likely to compare favourably with the costs of coal, under carbon penalties, and gas, of which most of the EU’s supply must be imported and also nuclear energy, which is currently predicted to cost €92.50 a megawatt hour for electricity produced at Hinkley Point.

However, the executives said this would only happen “with the right regulatory framework”, and said there was “a serious question mark” over what would happen after 2020, when current EU pledges to generate 20% of energy from renewable sources expire.

Read more on the Guardian website 'Energy firms urge EU to back offshore wind'

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