Hans Bunting, RWE Innogy’s chief executive, said the company had stopped all further investment and completely frozen its onshore wind development pipeline while it awaits an announcement from the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change on whether projects will have a route to market.
That pipeline amounts to a total worth £1bn ($1.4bn) but recent policy changes by the British government have prompted the German energy giant to put the investments on hold, while clarity is sought.
Those plans included 12 onshore wind farms in Wales and Scotland – representing about 400 MW of clean power generation capacity.
Bunting added the UK’s legally binding climate targets are constraining the development of new gas, suggesting that the “industrial logic” that regards onshore wind as the cheapest form of available clean energy would have to be embraced by the government at some point.
RWE Innogy’s chief said the company is now looking to Turkey, Ireland and the USA to provide more concrete future growth prospects. Ireland has “first class” wind conditions according to Bünting, and a political consensus backing the development of onshore and offshore wind, making it an attractive market for the utility.