Noting that the company has underwritten a total of 5 GW of offshore wind thus far, GCube says that while clear growth within offshore wind persists, the industry needs to take some extra steps to ensure that wind energy assets are ‘investment grade’ in the long term.
With limited opportunities for debt within the offshore wind capital structure, unknown risks from the power price, regulatory risks, technology risks and the resource fluctuation of wind energy itself, offshore wind poses a number of investor challenges, according to the company. These challenges are further compounded by government pressure to lower the cost base of the industry and continued policy uncertainty.
In order to overcome this future industry investment impasse, GCube says a step change needs to take place in the way that future offshore wind assets are built, managed and valued. This will entail seeking greater levels of collaboration between investors, developers and operators at an earlier stage; ensuring that projects are more effectively geared toward the needs of capital providers and that they can adapt to the regulatory and policy environment.
"It seems obvious, but as new projects continue to come online and as existing technology improves, develops and matures, offshore wind energy still carries a large amount of risk," comments Jatin Sharma, GCube's head of offshore wind.