Sam Richards responds to failed offshore wind auction

Sam Richards, founder and campaign director of Britain Remade, commenting on the latest offshore wind Contract for Difference auction results, said:

“The failure to award a single contract for offshore wind in the latest round is the direct result of the Government’s complacency and incompetence in the rules they set for the latest auction. This catastrophic outcome will cost hard-pressed billpayers £1bn a year.      

“Ever since the Contracts for Difference system was introduced in 2014 industry has driven down costs at every single auction round – to the point that, for a time, offshore wind farms were 9 times cheaper than new gas plants.

“Yet because of the war in Ukraine the costs of core materials used in offshore turbines such as steel, aluminium and copper have skyrocketed, as they have for businesses across the economy.     

“Despite this, Ministers and mandarins decided to ignore warnings from the industry that this would mean, for a short time, the cost of offshore wind would rise - while still being significantly cheaper than new gas plants.

“By capping the price the sector could bid at too low, Government set it at a level that made it impossible for investors to meet their costs. This will condemn consumers to higher bills than necessary and means Britain loses out on vital jobs and billions in investment.

“At the same time as the Government capping the price at an unrealistic level, ministers have also failed to deliver the necessary planning reforms that will speed up delivery and cuts costs. It cannot be right that it takes up to 13-years to build an offshore wind farm, when construction takes only 2 years.”