RenewableUK and one of two developers involved have expressed ‘disappointment’ at an announcement by the UK Government that it has delayed making decisions on whether two major offshore wind projects can go ahead
The future of Ørsted’s Hornsea Three project (2.4 GW) off the east coast of England and Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard project (1.8 GW) will now be announced on 1 July 2020.
The delay was confirmed by the Planning Inspectorate in the UK, which said the Secretary of State had decided to re-set the statutory deadline for both applications.
RenewableUK chief executive Hugh McNeal said, “Any delay in the decision-making process is disappointing. We want to work with government to achieve their ambition of 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and the UK’s wider net zero target.
“Major projects like these are vital to generate clean power on the scale we need to decarbonise our economy. We need the government to take decisions in a timely manner so that offshore wind can play a leading role in getting our economy back on track after the coronavirus crisis”.
Vattenfall UK country manager Danielle Lane said of the delay to the decision about Norfolk Vanguard, “Norfolk Vanguard is one of the most innovative and ambitious offshore wind projects in the world. Yet this is now the second time it has suffered a delay, despite addressing all of the major concerns raised during the planning process.
“Coming so soon after the decision on Norfolk Boreas was pushed back until October, the offshore wind industry will be left wondering about the government’s intentions for this sector.
“We’re in a race against time to reduce emissions and need to respond to the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, yet crucial infrastructure decisions are being put on hold.
“While we appreciate the added difficulties posed by the current lockdown, some of the largest engineering projects ever built – capable of providing clean energy security and a vital economic boost to the UK – remain in limbo.
“For every day that goes by without a decision, there are consequences for the next phase of the project, so it’s vital that there are no further delays.”
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