UK in danger of falling behind in net zero race
By Mike Hayes08 September 2023
The UK government has been accused of not offering offshore wind farm developers enough financial incentive to move forward with major projects.
A report in The Daily Telegraph said offshore wind farm developers were not expected to make any bids when the latest round of renewable contracts is announced, because the price being offered for energy is too low.
Currently, a price of approximately €70/MWh is on offer, which is lower than that offered by the US and by China a year ago.
The Daily Telegraph said developers have complained that their costs have increased by up to 40% and subsidies being offered by the US, China and the EU subsidy are making developments outside of the UK look more attractive.
Danish offshore wind specialist Orsted has warned that costs are making it increasingly difficult to move ahead with the current Hornsea 3 project in the North Sea. The proposed Hornsea 4 project could also be at risk.
UK climate goals in jeopardy
Meanwhile, a report from Schneider Electric has revealed that more than 80% of UK businesses believe the energy crisis will have an impact on their ability to meet climate change goals.
The digital automation and energy management specialist said almost have of respondents to its survey said planned investment in sustainability were being delayed, due to rising costs.
The Schneider report also suggests that many businesses will look to reduce their energy usage in an effort to meet their emission targets and reduce overall energy costs.
In its survey of more than 1,200 large businesses in the UK, the company found that 39% recognise that emissions targets should be a priority and believe they will become mor important over the next three years.
Against these responses, however, the survey revealed that only 21% of respondents believe energy prices will fall within that timeframe, and 69% of respondents believe the energy crisis will continue to be an issue for at least another year.
Carbon emissions ‘must be a priority’
Kelly Becker, zone president for Schneider Electric UK and Ireland, said, “Business leaders tell us that the energy crisis should be seen alongside the many other challenges they have faced over the last twelve months, including economic pressures, cyber security and skills shortages.
“Yet our research suggests that some of the UK and Ireland’s largest organisations are ‘kicking the carbon emissions can down the road’, as a result of the energy crisis.”
Becker added, “As fears grow about progress against global commitments made under the Paris Agreement, and the UK’s Climate Change Committee warns of a lack of progress on emissions cuts, the UK and Ireland need businesses and organisations in the public sector to play their part and stick to their net zero and emissions reduction targets.”