Crown estate’s fees criticised by MPs

The House of Commons Treasury Committee has added its name to the list of bodies concerned about the Crown Estate’s fees for marine renewables

The House of Commons Treasury Committee has added its name to the list of bodies concerned about the Crown Estate’s fees for marine renewables.

Last year, offshore wind developers criticised the Crown Estate for upping the rent it charges per unit of electricity produced.

Existing offshore wind farms pay about £1 per megawatt hour, but the Crown Estate said larger deep-water projects would pay about £3/MWh.

In March, the Treasury Committee issued a report into the running of the Crown Estate.1 It expressed concern that firms can only appeal to the Office of Fair Trading if they consider the charges unfair, and recommends the estate establish its own appeal procedures for the wind and marine energy sectors.

The report also calls on the Crown Estate to consult more with wave and tidal energy developers before launching future leasing rounds. In March, it awarded leases to develop 1.2 gigawatts of peak capacity wave and tidal power in the Pentland Firth, Scotland (ENDS Report 422, p 17).

The Renewable Energy Association told the committee the Crown Estate should have adopted a "more flexible, collaborative approach using pilot projects to demonstrate the technology before rolling out [such] a fully fledged commercial strategy."

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