RES stops work on £300m North Blyth biomass facility

British independent renewable energy developer RES has announced it is ceasing work on its £300 million (€362.1 million) biomass power station project at the Port of Blyth in Northumberland.

RES' decision follows the withdrawal of a key project partner in late 2013 due to ongoing uncertainty in UK energy policy.

The company says the government's 'inconsistent' support for dedicated biomass energy over the last two years - as well as increased uncertainty over the UK's energy policy under the Government's Electricity Market Reform process - has 'critically undermined' the investment case for the North Blyth Biomass Power Station.

The decision to end the biomass power station project means the loss of hundreds of millions of pounds of investment into the Blyth estuary and wider Northumberland economy, as well as the 300+ jobs that would have come with the development.

RES' COO for the UK Gordon MacDougall stated:

'Despite the support the project enjoys locally due to the significant benefits it would bring to the local and regional economy, the North Blyth Biomass Power Station currently faces insurmountable investment barriers due to uncertain Government energy policy.

'It's bitterly disappointing for RES that we are unable to bring this exciting project forward, and deliver the significant boost it would have represented for the Blyth and Northumberland economy. However, the gradual erosion of support for dedicated biomass leaves us with no other option.'

RES has called upon the government to clarify its support for renewable energy as a vital part of the UK energy mix, in order to ensure that independent generators and major investors alike have the certainty needed to continue investing in UK infrastructure.

Renewable Energy Association (REA) chief executive Dr Nina Skorupska said:

'The government now must move swiftly to protect both existing and future investment, by giving a strong, clear and positive message that the UK is still open for business for biomass.'

Gordon MacDougall concluded:

'...as the UK's energy policy currently stands, we cannot make an investment case to take this project forward.

'This is a reminder to government that, without a consistent approach to energy policy, investors and developers will be deterred from delivering the billions of pounds needed to ensure the nation's energy infrastructure is able to keep the lights on and secure cost effective electricity for British homes and businesses.'

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