Wind power licence auctions could be held by the end of the year

 In Energy, News, Offshore wind, Renewables

The boss of a Portuguese renewable energy association says pledges by the previous government to hold an auction to sell offshore wind farm exploration rights by June are “unrealistic”.

Pedro Amaral Jorge, president of the Portuguese Renewable Energies Association (APREN) said in an interview with Negócios and Antena 1 that here were conditions, however, to hold an auction by the end of the year, but not by June.

Many questions have been raised as to whether the competition would even be economically viable, particularly when last year the UK government aimed to award upward of 5GW of contracts to offshore wind projects but no bids were submitted after developers argued the prices offered by the government were too low.

The Portuguese government sees eolic offshore wind farms as an opportunity for the country to develop an industrial sector involving Portuguese and overseas companies.

There are two options: fixed wind turbines mounted on piles, and floating wind farm systems. The goal is to create economies of scale within the European space, and award the rights for 10GW of installed power as contained within the Government’s Energy and Climate Plan with the installation and operation of 2GW.

“We have developers that are interested, we have potential designs of electricity network transport systems (from sea) to the shore, and auction mechanisms in line with those in other countries, but we have not drawn up the terms of reference to carry out these auctions. There is work to be done, and I doubt it can be done by June this year,” he said.

The process would be conducted in two phases. The first would be to parcel up and distribute maritime space. The second would be to give developers 18-20 months to win this space and look into the conditions.

“I believe that by the end of the year, after the European Parliament elections, we will be in a position to draw up the auctions to award the maritime space for these projects,” said Pedro Amaral Jorge.