U.K. Wind Investing Slowdown

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted November 7, 2012

In the U.K., the wind sector may be slowing down seriously as all orders for offshore wind turbines have ceased, the Financial Times reports.

German Siemens (NYSE: SI), Danish Vestas (CPH: VWS), and Repower Systems (ETR: RPW) (German subsidiary of the Indian Suzlon) have had just one order between them so far this year.

Siemens, which received that order, has developed 60 percent of the 800+ offshore turbines installed thus far in the U.K. Vestas has built around 35 percent of them.

Government delays and restructuring of wind energy investment frameworks are being widely blamed for the dismal climate in the British wind sector.

ust recently, Energy Secretary Ed Davey had to reassure the wind sector that the anti-wind energy minister John Hayes’ remarks – implying that the government was to withdraw support for the wind sector – were not to be taken seriously.

Offshore farms are generally not as difficult to push through approval as onshore farms, but the sector still reacts to government hesitation. Still, the EU needs them if it is to meet its goal of obtaining 20 percent of all needed energy from renewables by 2020.

Siemens’ order this year, placed for 300 turbines by the Danish Dong utility, was quite low compared to what’s required for projects meant to double the U.K.’s offshore capacity through 2016.

Although the U.K. has more offshore wind capacity installed than the rest of the world, the EU has taken note of the internal lack of stability.

That’s why several leading turbine manufacturers and wind developers will be meeting with European Commission officials this week. They will discuss the urgent necessity of stabilizing energy policies.

Most of the industry’s qualms revolve around a troublesome energy bill set to replace existing renewable energy subsidies in 2017 with a system of long-term price contracts. The bill has been widely criticized for being nebulous.

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