A new key auction for offshore wind energy has received no bids from developers, further highlighting issues with the government's strategy for renewable power.
The results of the latest round of government auctions received no offshore wind farm bids, reflecting the challenging conditions that developers find themselves facing in this industry. However, there was better news for tidal, solar and onshore wind projects, which did see bids submitted.
Developers have said that the government's set prices for generated electricity were set at too low a point to make offshore projects viable. The government has said in response that projects have been challenged by rising inflation that has continued to impact supply chains. The government also said that the outcome of the latest round of auctions was broadly in line with other countries, including Spain and Germany, despite receiving no bids for floating and offshore wind.
For the first time, geothermal projects are also being awarded funding. This technology sees heat energy extracted from deep within the ground to provide reliable, constant and low-carbon heat energy.
Without offshore wind, the government may struggle to deliver its promised capacity of 50GW of offshore wind by the key date of 2030, against the 14GW available today. Green groups have already warned that solar and other renewable energies cannot meet the output and capacity of wind.
Wind power is viewed as the pivotal technology in Britain's renewable energy crown, but the higher cost of building new windfarms has hit the ability of developers to turn a profit. The costs of steel and other manufacturing outputs are particularly high and continue to be affected by global issues.
Regardless, the UK's offshore wind industry supports thousands of skilled jobs and provides nearly 14 per cent of the country's total energy.