Wind project approval delays to hinder UK from achieving offshore capacity and emission reduction targets, says GlobalData

Delays in project approvals is likely to hinder the UK from achieving offshore wind capacity and emission reduction targets within the specified deadline. While there are no tangible signs that the UK Government’s long-term commitment to offshore wind is wavering, the delays in approval decisions are agitating developers, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Somik Das, Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Further delays in approvals could lead developers to doubt the UK’s commitment to the offshore wind sector. This could also make it difficult for the UK to achieve its emission target – ‘UK 2050 net-zero target’.

“Two offshore wind farms (Hornsea 3 and The Norfolk Boreas windfarm) that were supposed to start construction already have not done because of delayed permits. In June 2020, the government extended the deadline to grant permits for another large offshore windfarm  – Vattenfall’s 1.8 GW Norfolk Vanguard project. Further, the government also rejected the Thanet Extension project, stating an impact on the shipping industry. Large offshore wind projects are essential to generate clean power on a scale that would likely help the nation decarbonize the economy and make significant advancements in the path of net-zero emissions.”

The Hornsea 3 project was expecting approval decisions in October 2019 but was delayed citing environmental concerns. The Norfolk Boreas windfarm was expecting approval decisions in  May 2020 but this was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Das added,” These delays are likely to affect the chances of the UK meeting the target of 40 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030, which currently stands at around 10GW.“

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