Centrica asks for government support for new offshore wind projects

Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of utility giant Centrica has said that Government support is needed for wind farms with new offshore wind projects facing “considerable hurdles” as a result of a shortage of debt finance.

Centrica, which owns British Gas, recently announced its plans to develop the depleted Baird North Sea gas field.

Laidlaw said the go-ahead for the scheme depended on determining the “fiscal terms” for the project referring to a more sympathetic financial approach from the government.

Laidlaw maintained that costs needed to fall if companies were to continue with schemes and help British ministers to meet their target of generating 20 per cent of the nation’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Centrica said in November that it was reviewing the economics of plans for three new wind farms off Britain’s east coast.

According to Reuters, E.ON UK chief executive Paul Golby said the group was reviewing plans to develop the London Array wind farm in the Thames estuary in the light of higher development costs and difficulties in securing funding.