Renewable energy strike price to be unveiled amid hopes it will push forward wind farm construction in East Anglia

Wind turbines that have already been built off the coast of East Anglia Wind turbines that have already been built off the coast of East Anglia

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
8:58 AM

Energy firms will be given the long-awaited confirmation about how much they will be guaranteed by the government for the electricity they generate in a move it is hoped will push forward East Anglian wind farm plans.

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A renewables strike price will be unveiled by chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander this morning following months of negotiations between energy firms and the government.

Ministers will announce that they will cut support for onshore wind and solar energy, but give more backing to offshore wind power.

Earlier this year ministers unveiled plans for the guaranteed prices that will be paid for electricity from renewables including offshore and onshore wind in the coming decade, in order to give investors certainty of the return they will get to cover high capital costs.

But the draft prices only ran up until 2020 and business leaders have been arguing that the large sums of money and long timescales of projects mean that they need certainty for far longer.

The set prices for onshore wind power and solar energy will be cut from 2015, while those for offshore wind power will be increased.

Norfolk is set to benefit from a number of proposed wind farms, including the Triton Knoll project, co-ordinated by RWE Npower Renewables, which has plans to build 228 wind turbines 25 miles off the coast of north Norfolk.

Simon Gray, chief executive of the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR), the business-led regional alliance which aims to drive growth in the energy sector, said: “I am hoping it will be of the right order to maintain impetus for the industry. Everything has gone back by certainly two, in some cases even five, years in terms of where we thought we would be now.

“Some companies which set themselves up to capitalise on the burgeoning offshore wind industry have gone to the wall because of the lack of government plans.

“What it will mean is at last some stability for the industry and we can see some light at the end of the tunnel and start planning the scaling up of activity for these developments.”

It will be part of a number of announcements in the new national infrastructure plan (NIP) setting out over £375bn of planned public and private investments to 2030 and beyond.

The government will sell its 40pc stake in Eurostar as part of a plan to privatise £20bn of financial and corporate assets by 2020.

Ministers have been given a boost by major insurers, who have announced plans to invest £25bn in UK infrastructure projects over the next five years.

The plans set out today include a new target for selling off financial assets, doubling the amount from £10bn to £20bn including the shareholding in the cross-channel train operator. Last month Eurostar revealed it had seen an increase in revenues and passenger numbers compared with last summer.

Other measures being announced include:

A further £50m will be allocated to redevelop the railway station at Gatwick Airport.

A government guarantee could support finance for the development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa on Anglesey.

The £1bn Northern Line extension to Battersea in south-west London will also be guaranteed by the government.

A £10m competitive fund will open in early 2014 to test ways to deliver superfast broadband to remote areas of the UK.

The planned infrastructure investment has increased from £309bn last year to more than £375bn, with 291 of the 646 projects and programmes already under construction.

Mr Alexander will say: “The announcement today that six major insurers will invest £25bn over the next five years is a massive vote of confidence in the UK economy.

“It supports the wider £100bn public investment to rebuild Britain over the next seven years that I announced at the Spending Round 2013. Underground, overground, onshore, offshore, wired or wireless, tarmac or train track. You name it, we’re building it right now.

“This is great news for the people of the UK because after years of neglect, the UK’s energy, road, rail, flood defence, communications and water infrastructure needs renewal.”

10 comments

  • Daisy Roots, the people you speak ill of have been making the lives of people in many parts of Kent a misery for years. Until all the stupid laws which protect so called downtrodden minorities are abolished nothing will change, these laws are in fact about keeping the working classes in their place by restricting freedom of speech.

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    John Bridge

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • local communities are frozen out. Any other alternative energy schemes that should be married with a non existing protection of our coast line, is being sidelined by large operators who feed on subsidies. There is not one operator who will install wind or solar farms without our subsidies, they are all on the dole!

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • We should forget about wind power, its too unreliable and too costly. Heath Robinson would have been proud!

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    John Bridge

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • Why are there no projects utilising our sea currents, our fierce eastern drift scouring the coastline? Why are we discounting a Wash dyke with a tidal energy hub that would make two nuclear power stations redundant? What of our eastern seaboard estuaries Orwell and Blackwater? What of tidal lagoon enertgy schemes? Thing is, some priviledged companies and persons are cornering the subsidies from the taxpayer and community led initiatives, so widespread on the continent, are frozen out by planners saying NO, a rigged market.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • These things will be completely outdated technology in a few years time and are a total waste of money.

    Report this comment

    Cuthbert J. Twillie

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • These windmills are a disgrace, the only people who make money are the energy companies. They cost more to produce and site than the engery they save, they also mess up our coastline and our country. We need to sort our energy out for this country and windmills are not the answer, we should invest in nuclear energy and look more into handlling it. Let's hope these green taxes are jumped upon and cut to sensible level.

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    Sweet cheeks

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • "......keeping the working classes in their place by restricting freedom of speech.". Archant certainly restrict our freedom of speech and freedom of expression John, with their censorship of blogs, if they do not fit in with their thinking or go against their favorite companies, politicians, university or quangos.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • John, I do not mean to speak ill of an entire community which has many respectable and nice people who are engaged in legitimate business and are upright members of society.I felt quite guilty when my first thought on reading the report of the ATM raid was " usual suspects". Then I thought about all the people in West Norfolk Marshland and the Fens whose lives have been affected by rural crime.My gripe is with a local newspaper which has failed to put the agencies involved-councils, the police and policy makers- in the spotlight and ask what they are doing to resolve this" disaffection" which has plagued our region for over a decade. I recall a while back the EDP was not so cagey about splashing the front page and making subjective comments when the boot was on the other foot.

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • "" More than half — about £47.6 billion — will have gone on funding green levies, such as subsidies for wind farms, added to consumer fuel bills. " This is what the reality is for the cost of the subsidies for this lunacy. See DT website for the full article

    Report this comment

    Windless

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • Maybe they will produce enough energy to allow the EDP to shine a light on the failure to address some of the causes of rural crime The report on the UEA ram raid now makes it clear exactly who is accused and what community they belong to. The long term failure of social agencies and the East Anglian police forces to address the attitude to the law amongst some younger male members of this community has to be seen as wilful neglect.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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