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DONG Energy green lights £1.8bn North Sea offshore wind farm

DONG Energy green lights £1.8bn North Sea offshore wind farm

Plans to build two offshore wind farms ff Germany's North Sea coast have taken a step forward today, after developer DONG Energy committed €2.2bn (£1.8bn) to the Gode Wind projects.

But the company also called on the German government to provide greater certainty for the future of the industry, just a week after Chancellor Angela Merkel signalled that she would scale back her ambition for the sector.

DONG Energy's Gode Wind 1 and 2 projects are together expected to provide 582MW of new capacity, and will be the first German project to feature Siemens' new 6MW wind turbine, reducing the number of machines required to 97.

The projects are expected to be completed in the second half of 2016, meaning they will be eligible for the current German subsidy regime that will provide a fixed price per kWh for the first 10 years of operation and then the market price for the remaining life of the scheme.

However, the German government has recently reduced its targets for offshore wind power, bringing uncertainty to potential investors about the future levels of financial support after 2017.

The new Christian Democratic and the Social Democrat coalition has reportedly cut Germany's 2020 offshore wind target to 6.5GW, rising to 15GW in 2030, compared to the previous goal of 10GW, rising to 25GW in 2030.

A spokesman for DONG Energy told BusinessGreen the company would not have made the investment decision in Gode Wind 1 and 2 without the current levels of support provided by the German government.

Sam Leupold, executive vice president for DONG Energy's wind power division, also urged the German government to provide clarity on the post-2017 framework.

"For an industry with project lifecycles of 30 years it is critically important to obtain visibility beyond 2017 in order to continue to innovate and mature the technology, bring down production costs and make a substantial contribution to the German Energiewende," he said in a statement.

"Longer-term visibility is also a prerequisite for our ability to continue to attractive significant private capital from pension funds and asset managers who are ready to invest in the modernisation of the German energy system."


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