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Scottish Power Chief: You’re Bonkers If You Think We Will Build Offshore Wind ‘Subsidy-Free’

The Energyst

Scottish Power chief executive Keith Anderson has questioned the apparent obsession with achieving ‘subsidy-free’ renewables, warning it will not happen any time soon for technologies such as offshore wind.

Anderson took part in a panel debate around ‘post-subsidy’ renewables at Aurora’s Spring Conference.

Asked which markets are most attractive to parent company Iberdrola in terms of ‘subsidy-free’ development, Anderson replied that he “hates the expression”.

“I can’t understand why the renewables industry has become obsessed with talking about becoming ‘subsidy-free’. Right now, nothing in the UK energy industry is being built without some form of support, so why in god’s name is the renewables industry running around desperate to [be seen] as subsidy-free?” Anderson asked.

“Everything has some form of support. If you think we are going build a £2.5bn offshore wind farm in UK at market risk, you’re bonkers.”

While power purchase agreements (PPAs) with large corporates are seen as a way of mitigating risk for developers, Anderson said the UK market for such deals is nowhere near mature.

“If the only thing out there is a corporate PPA, the market will slow down dramatically, because frankly, that market doesn’t really exist in UK [at the scale required],” he said. “That might change in 5-10 years, but it doesn’t exist right now.”

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