UK offshore wind terms ‘could exclude all but large utilities and oil and gas majors’ warns Mainstream chief

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

New Power Report 126 August 2019 Mainstream

 

Further reading

Search and sort data on UK power assets via New Power’s online Database. Free access for subscribers

The investor connection As Ofgem prepares to begin the tender process to own and operate connections to three new offshore wind farms, New Power Report takes a look at the Ofto story so far
The New Power Interview: Emma Pinchbeck, RenewableUK Renewables are now big business for energy and for UK Plc. Emma Pinchbeck looked at their long-term development with Janet Wood
New metrics needed When offshore wind was first proposed in the UK, it was thought to be a good thing because load factors would be higher than they are onshore – perhaps as high as 37%..
Wind of change: Can the UK maintain its offshore lead? The global offshore wind sector had a record year in 2017. Installations were up 87% on the previous year, according to Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) figures. That brought total global offshore installations to 18,814MW

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