BP pulls out of British renewables

Energy giant BP has shelved plans for a wind farm on the Isle of Grain in Kent and has says it has no intention to invest in other renewable energy projects in the UK for the time being.

BP has a £5bn renewable energy spending programme for the next seven years, but now says most of the cash will be spent in America, where the company says it will get more favourable returns on its investment due to better government incentives to pursue clean tech.

President-elect Barak Obama has pledged $150bn over ten years to stimulate the renewable energy markets in the USA.

Difficulty in getting planning permission in the UK and economies of scale were also mentioned as reasons for the decision.

Michelle Thomas, head of the clean energy and sustainability team at Eversheds, a law firm with a proven track record in environmental issues, said: “The news that BP has dropped all plans to build wind farms and other renewables schemes in Britain has been suspected for a while.

“This ties in with shareholder pressure generally in oil and gas to focus on core business or where there are clear financial synergies.

“The departure of BP and similar players will be seen as having a negative impact particularly for the offshore wind programme where their offshore expertise and balance sheet strength are key assets.”

Sam Bond

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