Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Rules clarified for offshore wind power

Thu 30 Mar 2006

Rules clarified for offshore wind power
LONDON (Reuters) - The offshore wind power industry got a boost on Thursday as the government clarified rules on financing connections to the mainland grid, the wind industry and the government said.

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks, ending months of uncertainty, said the cost of linking offshore wind turbines to the onshore grid should be financed through regulated charges levied by National Grid, mirroring arrangements for onshore connections.

Doubts about financing methods for offshore power lines, which are expected to cost billions of pounds, has hampered the growth of offshore wind, analysts say.

"This is an important step for Britain's offshore wind energy industry as the measures I am announcing will increase its viability by spreading grid connection costs over a number of years," said Wicks in a statement.

The government wants wind projects, especially off the coast of Scotland, to boost the use of green energy and help tackle climate change.

Earlier on Thursday the government said emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, rose last year, the third annual increase in a row.

"The industry is delighted that the Government has finally settled the regulatory framework for offshore transmission," said Richard Ford, Head of Grid and Technical Affairs at the British Wind Energy Association.

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