Major wind farm builders shunned a government auction of new contracts to build offshore fields in a blow for the Prime Minister.
No companies decided to bid for any of seven new contracts to build massive offshore wind farms around Britain after many complained that the maximum price set for what they could charge is too low.
Keith Anderson, the boss of ScottishPower, which is one of the key builders of wind power in the UK, called it “a multibillion-pound lost opportunity to deliver low-cost energy for consumers”.
Each year the Government awards contracts to supply renewable electricity to British households for 15 years at a set price.
By guaranteeing the price that a company will be paid for its electricity, it gives firms certainty that they will not go bankrupt should electricity prices crater. It also helps keep household bills lower than they would otherwise be if electricity prices soar.
This year offshore wind producers were allowed to bid at most £44 per megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity. In 2015 when the first auction was launched the maximum bid allowed was £155 per MWh.
The UK boss of Vattenfall, a major builder of offshore wind farms, said the auction had not taken account of the “very, very difficult macroeconomic climate”.
The Swedish company last month paused construction on one of the wind farms it was building off the coast of Norfolk. It had promised to provide electricity from the site for £37.35 per MWh.
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