Has the UK onshore wind industry turned into a Chicken Licken industry? The acorn that has dropped on the industry’s head is the current legislative environment and the impending change in subsidy regimes. At the recent RenewableUK Annual conference in Liverpool, it was easy to find people in the auditorium or on the exhibition floor declaring that sky was falling in on the whole wind industry as they absorbed the impact of the new government.
Of course, the industry in the UK faces a tough time. But the doom-mongers forget the resilience and can-do attitude the wind industry has shown throughout its history. The UK market is the 6th largest operator of wind power globally. The UK is the windiest country in Europe and the world leader in offshore wind since 2008. The industry has seen markets wax and wane in the past but has always found a way to thrive.
Some companies will choose to tighten their belts, welcoming the increased freedom from political interference. Confident that they can deliver cost reductions, they will thrive in the new “subsidy free” onshore wind world. Other companies will use the challenge to broaden horizons. Many markets across the globe need the UK’s expertise and experience.
Outside of Government machinations, by taking a more positive and, indeed, realistic approach, the UK industry can take the acorn that has dropped on its head and use it to grow sturdy global businesses that will last many generations to come.