The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

RWE Scraps Atlantic Array Offshore Wind Farm in UK

Germany's RWE has scrapped plans to build the £4 billion Atlantic Array offshore wind farm in Britain because of "market conditions and significant technical challenges."

These challenges are understood to relate to the seabed of the Bristol Channel, in southwest England, where the wind farm was to have been built.

Paul Cowling, director of offshore wind at RWE Innogy, said the decision was not "taken lightly, however given the technological challenges and market conditions, now is not the right time for RWE to continue to progress with this project." (Watch his explanation in the video clip below.) He said RWE would instead "focus on the other less technically challenging offshore projects within our extensive offshore pipeline of up to 5.2 GW" and added that "offshore wind remains one of the strategic objectives for RWE and the U.K. has a major role to play within our portfolio."

"The commercial reality means that in the current market conditions, overcoming the technical challenges within The Bristol Channel Zone would be uneconomic for RWE at this time," Cowling said.

The 220-turbine Atlantic Array was planned in an area of 200 square kilometers, about 16.5 km from the English coast and 22.5 km from the south Wales coast. Its proximity (13.5 km) to the Lundy Island nature reserve had generated strong opposition from environmentalists.

Ben Warren, environmental finance leader at consultants EY, said that some investors were wary of the U.K. because of the government's Electricity Market Reform, an overhaul of the electricity market that affects everything from nuclear to renewables.

"Uncertainty surrounding the current energy framework in the U.K. is widening the time gap between investors announcing their intentions and taking action. As a result, the sector, and offshore wind in particular, are left susceptible to that mood of uncertainty," he said. "What we see is a trend for developers to walk out of the U.K. market or push back investment decisions and primary funds for the construction of new renewable energy plants in the U.K. falling by 45 per cent between 2009 and 2012.

"If this trend continues, it could jeopardize billions worth of investment and thousands of much needed jobs."

Huub den Rooijen, head of offshore wind at The Crown Estate, took a more pragmatic view of the Atlantic Array decision: "Now that the industry has been developing projects for a number of years, there is a much deeper understanding of the characteristics of successful projects and we will see further attrition in the time to come."

He added that "paradoxically, this is a positive development, because it provides greater clarity to key stakeholders such as supply chain and consenting bodies, and brings greater focus to the investment opportunities."

Gordon Edge, director of policy at trade body RenewableUK, said: "Wind turbine technology is evolving extremely rapidly, so it's reasonable to expect that sites which aren't viable now will become so in the future. For example, a unique project to build an offshore wind farm with turbines on floating platforms in U.K. waters has just been announced. We're continually learning how best to harness some of the most powerful forces in nature, so that we can make a successful transition from fossil fuels to cost-effective low-carbon renewables."

Lead image: Sunbeams over a wind farm offshore Llandudno North Wales via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

U.S. Offshore Wind Power Industry Starting to Emerge

Ehren Goossens, Bloomberg A few miles off the coast of Block Island, a new U.S. industry is emerging from the Atlantic Ocean. That’s where Deepwater Wind LLC is installing a massive steel frame, more than 1,500 tons, that sits on the seabed and juts...

100-MW Kenyan Wind Farm Will Help Power Africa

Renewable Energy World Editors As part of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, announced that it committed $233 million in debt financing to ...

Regional News from the July/August 2015 Digital Edition of Renewable Energy World

Renewable Energy World Editors EcoFasten Solar announced that it launched a new mounting "Rock-It System" that it would be displaying during Intersolar. Product compliance was determined through testing per UL Subject 2703, which reviews integr...

With 1.6 GW of Wind Capacity Installed in Q2, American Wind Power Continues To Ramp Up in 2015

David Ward, American Wind Energy Association With 1,661 megawatts (MW) of newly installed wind turbines coming online during the second quarter of 2015 and more than 13,600 MW under construction, American wind power continues to increase its contribution to the U.S. e...
Kelvin Ross is Deputy Editor of Power Engineering International magazine and its associated publications – Middle East Energy and the Global Power Review. Previously, Kelvin was News Editor at UK online news site Energy Live News, Production Edito...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

2015 AREDAY Summit

The 12th Annual AREDAY Summit, August 8-13th in Snowmass Colorado. Engag...

StartUp Green

AREI, American Renewable Energy Institute, in partnership with ...

COMPANY BLOGS

Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is proud of its members for ...

Koch Professor drops his Koch title, still makes same errors plus s...

The Koch Professor’s title isn’t the only thing that’s...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS