EDITOR’S COMMENT: IF THE GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO SPEND BILLIONS ON A “GREEN REVOLUTION” THEY MUST ENSURE THAT THESE JOBS ARE GIVEN TO BRITISH WORKERS, WHO HAVE ARE FACING UNEMPLOYMENT AND UNCERTAINTY DUE TO THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC. IF YOU AGREE THAT WE NEED BRITISH JOBS FOR BRITISH WORKERS, SIGN OUR PETITION!
Offshore wind farm developers will forfeit their subsidy contracts if they fail to meet plans to support the British supply chain, under government proposals.
The business department is looking for ways to boost the share of offshore wind projects that are made in the UK. The Times revealed on Monday that the government estimates that less than half of the £50 billion capital investment in new wind farms this decade will be spent in Britain, with most turbine parts likely to be made overseas.
Under proposals published yesterday, offshore wind developers will have to set out more specific commitments in their supply chain plans, which are a prerequisite to be eligible to compete for consumer-funded subsidy contracts.
They will be held to account by new rules that will bar them from receiving subsidy payments until they are assessed to have delivered on their plans. If they fail to do so by a given date, they could forfeit the contract altogether.
Britain has more offshore wind farms than any other country and the government has placed a huge expansion of the technology at the centre of its plans for a “green industrial revolution”, aiming for a quadrupling of installed capacity by 2030. The government offers financial support to developers through contracts that commit consumers to pay a fixed price for the electricity that farms will generate. Early projects received high prices that will cost consumers billions of pounds in subsidy payments to top up the wholesale price in coming years.
The costs have fallen since then and recent contracts have been at prices below forecast average wholesale prices. However, the contracts remain extremely valuable to developers because they provide a guaranteed revenue stream. This is particularly important as more wind farms are built as there will be much lower wholesale prices on windy days when power is plentiful.