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Cost of offshore wind farms soaring

An offshore wind turbine

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: One of Britain's leading energy companies has warned wind power is becoming unprofitable in the U.K. From London, Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: Centrica says the economics of offshore wind farms are now marginal. The cost of construction doubled in the past two years. The soaring price of steel and copper are mainly to blame. This is the second attack on the viability of wind power here in recent days. Last week, the Shell Oil company delivered a devastating blow. It pulled out of a project to build the world's largest offshore wind farm off the south coast of England. But Gordon Edge of the British Wind Energy Association says this industry will not be blown off course.

Gordon Edge: You have to understand this is a very new industry. It's at an early stage and I'm very hopeful that we're going to see this sector become a major part of our means to tackle climate change here in Europe.

But Shell said last week it was going to focus on onshore wind power in the United States where tax breaks would make the business more profitable.

In London this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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