Dong reveals German offshore wind plans amid UK policy uncertainty

Danish energy company Dong has unveiled plans to build 582GW of offshore wind capacity in two projects off Germany’s North Sea coast as it rethinks its commitment to the UK.

The £1.8 billion, 97-turbine Geode 1 and 2 offshore wind projects will be Dong’s biggest. The company, which has invested more then £4 billion in the UK over the past ten years has condemned the political row over energy as damaging the prospects for wind investment in the UK. Dong’s UK manager Benjamin Sykes, said it was “extremely difficult” to make investment decisions in the UK. “We are now living in the world of rhetoric and unfortunately rational debate is becoming an endangered species,” he said.

In contrast Samuel Leupold, executive vice president and head of Dong’s wind projects, said: “We remain hopeful that the new German government will soon announce a viable support framework for the period post-2017. For an industry with project life cycles of 30 years it is critically important to obtain visibility beyond 2017.” said Leupold. He said “long-term visibility” was vital to attract investment

Dong’s announcement came as a separate report warned that political wrangling over energy in theUKwas jeopardising investment in the sector. Investors in offshore wind were in “a state of heightened uncertainty” according to consultant Ernst and Young (E&Y). The consultant said political “squabbling” put investment at risk. “What we have also seen in the market is that primary funds secured for the construction of new renewable energy plants in the UK fell 45 per cent between 2009 and 2012,” said Ben Warren, E&Y’s environmental finance leader.