March 2023
The UK delayed the decision for Ørsted’s 2.6GW Hornsea Four offshore wind project in the North Sea, 69km off the Yorkshire Coast. The Planning Inspectorate announced that the deadline for the decision on the development consent application has been extended to 12th July from 22nd February.

The Secretary of State has three months from the receipt of the Examining Authority’s report to make a decision—but can also set a new deadline. It said it needed extra time to consider additional information that is now being requested from the developer.

The request relates to updates or information on impacts on birds, the adequacy of the proposed compensation measures and the developer’s proposal to repurpose the Wenlock platform as an artificial nesting structure.

Industry group RenewableUK said the delay of nearly five months to the decision is a sign that the planning system needs reform.



The UK has one of the largest offshore wind markets in the world with over 10GW of installed capacity across 38 sites. The country plans to boost offshore wind capacity to 50GW by the end of 2030.

The six offshore wind sites include Dogger Bank South’s West and East extensions, managed by RWE renewables. Collectively, the two extensions to the wind farm off the Yorkshire coast will add 3GW of generation capacity.

The United Kingdom has announced a GBP60m (US$73.1m) public and private funding investment in floating offshore wind projects to assist development of new turbines to be placed in the windiest areas along the UK's coastline.

The government is providing GBP31m (US$37.8m) and GBP30m (US$36.5m) funded by industry into research on areas, such as securing turbines to the seabed, undersea cabling, and developing foundation solutions. The country aims to extend its offshore wind capacity to 51TWh in 2023, from 44TWh in 2022. In 2026, offshore wind capacity is forecast to reach 85TWh in the UK. 



The European Commission approved a EUR2.08bn (US$2.23bn) fund in France to support a floating offshore wind farm with an expected capacity of 230MW to 270MW. The project, to be located off the coast of the South of Brittany, will be the first commercial scale floating offshore wind farm in the country. It is expected to generate 1TWh of renewable electricity a year over 35 years.

The aid will take the form of a monthly variable premium using the model of a two-way contract for difference. Its beneficiary will be selected through a bidding process and is due to be determined in the June quarter of 2023.

The French government selected a site off the Belle-Ile-en-Mer island, south of Brittany, to build the country’s first floating offshore wind farm. The fund will run for 20 years, commencing with the wind farm’s start-up in 2028.

The measure aims to help France meet its target of producing 33% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030. Last year, French President Macron raised the country's offshore wind target to 40GW in operation by 2050, citing that this would be around 50 projects. Annual tender volumes will also be raised from 1GW to 2GW from 2025.

The country's first commercial-scale offshore wind farm, the 480MW Saint-Nazaire project, started full operations in November last year.



Germany, Belgium and Netherlands are also planning to build artificial islands in the North Sea. These new islands aim to produce green hydrogen and transmit electricity to the shore. A joint offshore wind target of at least 65GW by 2030 and 150GW by 2050 has been pledged by these countries.

Belgium has just presented plans to connect 3.5GW of offshore wind capacity to Princess Elisabeth Island by 2026. Construction is expected to begin in 2024 by Belgian transmission system operator Elia.

In addition to bringing offshore wind to shore, the island will become a central hub for hybrid interconnectors between the UK (Nautilus) and Denmark (TritonLink). A subsidy of EUR100m ($99.38m) has been requested to the European Commission as part of the Belgium’s post-COVID-19 recovery plan.



Denmark’s Minister of Climate has announced that the government will start auctions for 9GW of offshore wind this year. The plan on the framework of these tenders will be negotiated next month with the goal of having the capacity in operation by 2030.

Additionally, the government is studying how to allow developers to build more wind turbines at the sites designated for tenders, which could increase the planned 9GW of capacity, the minister mentioned.

Denmark and Germany lead the way constructing the first offshore interconnection employing a combined grid solution to offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea. The Kriegers Flak Combined Grid Solution connects both countries via two offshore wind farms (German Baltic 2 and Danish), proving 400MW of bi-directional transmission capacity.