An ill wind

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche

10 June 2016


There is an old adage that it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good and that could very well be applied to a decision taken this week by the Danish government. With a poorly performing economy hit by a tax (PSO tax, which goes to supporting sustainable energy) and an EU probe into the subsidies given to renewable energy projects, the government has decided to shelve a plan first agreed in 2012 to build a series of wind turbines directly on the coastline. The government is aiming to cut the PSO tax by 8Bn Kroner in order to boost Danish companies, which often compete with foreign companies that enjoy far lower taxes and fees. In total, the PSO tax is expected to cost companies and private energy consumers in Denmark some 70 billion kroner over the next decade. The coastal wind turbines were supposed to be ready by 2020 and were expected to produce 350 MW of sustainable energy. But Denmark is not abandoning wind energy altogether and plans to replace the abandoned coastal project with new offshore wind in 2025. Nine years may be a long time to wait but the planned offshore windfarm should provide some work for the specialist offshore sector that has had little to celebrate lately. The offshore wind sector in the UK may also be due for a boost according to a report in the Daily telegraph at the weekend. It appears that according to the chief executive of wind industry trade body RenewableUK, England is just not windy enough to justify building any more onshore wind turbines. Thus it would seem that if the UK renewables sector is to thrive, offshore wind is the big hope.