The UK has effectively excluded smaller companies from taking part in its future offshore wind projects, according to Andy KInsella, chief executive of Mainstream Renewable Power.
In an exclusive interview with New Power Report Kinsella said that even though Mainstream has been a major presence developing, consenting and getting offtake agreements for 3.95GW of offshore wind in the UK, “We could not prequalify on our own for the next round, even though we were the most successful in all the rounds – because you need a £600 million sterling balance sheet minimum for each of the past three years. That would have excluded us.” In addition, Kinsella notes the rising option fees for new offshore development areas. Together, those two restrictions, “leaves [UK offshore wind] in the realm of certain large utilities and the oil and gas majors,” he said.
Kinsella also warned that availability of clean energy was increasingly important for states, as “a competitive edge and a necessity to grow your economy”. He cited Mainsteam’s experience in countries as far apart as Chile and Vietnam, where major commercial entities made clean energy availability a condition of inward investment.
Kinsella said that money is going to move out of oil and gas and into renewables and that would require “whole new trading and finance solutions”
Read the full interview