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Green Lobby Angry About Britain’s Decade-Long Delay For Offshore Wind

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Sally Bakewell & Alex Morales, Bloomberg

The U.K. pushed back a timetable for offshore wind capacity by a decade to 2030, drawing industry criticism that its plans are “bad for growth, bad for jobs.”

 

Britain may generate about 18 gigawatts from such turbines by 2030, according to a central scenario released today by the government as part of plans to attract 110 billion pounds ($167 billion) of investment into low-carbon power infrastructure.

In some instances the government is predicting less wind power than its current high estimates for 2020, RenewableUK, a lobby for the clean-energy industry, said in a statement

“The scenarios set out today show that government is still in mixed minds about the role of renewables,” said Maf Smith, its deputy chief executive. “The U.K. has a massive opportunity on offshore wind to get the jobs in as we are deploying the technology first and it would be tragic if we squandered that and let our European competitors take the spoils.”

The timetable, included in a scenario that would see power industry greenhouse-gas emissions cut to 100 grams a kilowatt hour, may hamper Britain’s efforts to lower those by 80 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels. Prime Minister David Cameron has placed the technology at the heart of a plan to replace the fifth of current generation scheduled to retire in a decade.

The government’s energy department said today in reply to a query that it was committed to its target of renewables meeting 30 percent of electricity demand by 2020. Under today’s “high offshore” scenario, assuming technology costs fall, offshore wind would grow more than 10-fold by 2030, it said.

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