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Offshore Wind Farms In Doubt As Subsidy Pot Dries Up

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Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph

Finite budget for green energy subsidies is now on the verge of exhaustion, leaving nearly a dozen proposed offshore wind farms facing uncertain fate

The world's biggest offshore wind farm, the London Array, in the Thames Estuary.

There are five offshore wind farms with planning consent that are likely to want to secure a contract, plus a further six projects which are still in the planning system. Photo: Emily Gosden
Plans for a series of new offshore wind farms have been thrown into doubt after the Government disclosed it would only award enough subsidies this autumn to fund one such project.

Wind farm developers who fail to secure a subsidy contract this year will be forced to wait and attempt to secure funding in future years, with no guarantee of how much money – if any – will be available.

The disclosure underlines a growing realisation in the industry that the finite budget for green subsidies is now on the verge of exhaustion and there is simply not enough cash left for many projects now in the pipeline to be built this decade.

The Treasury has said the cost to consumers of green subsidies must rise to no more than £7.6bn in the 2020-21 financial year. The vast majority of that will be used up by subsidies for projects that have either already been built, are under construction, or have already been awarded a subsidy contract.

Ministers said on Thursday that they would allocate new contracts for projects requiring up to £205m in annual subsidies this autumn, of which £155m is earmarked for technologies such as offshore wind.

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