logo
Article

Orsted loses a quarter of its market value after warning on US offshore wind

Wall Street Journal|Dominic Chopping|September 1, 2023
USATaxes & SubsidiesOffshore Wind

The company is facing delays from suppliers, mainly from companies that build the offshore foundations as well as from a specialist installation vessel, which could create knock-on effects for final installation as well as potentially delaying revenue and increasing costs, but assuming no further supply chain issues the company will book impairments of up to DKK5 billion from this issue.


Danish renewable energy company Orsted lost a quarter of its market value Wednesday after warning of hefty impairments related to three wind projects off the east coast of the U.S., adding further pressure to an industry hit by surging costs and supply delays.

Offshore wind developers are facing turbulence at the same time as demand for renewable energy is greater than ever, with governments moving to hit climate targets and boost electricity supplies. The Biden administration is targeting 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power to be installed by 2030, enough to power roughly 10 million homes, up from essentially zero now, and the country has opened up areas mainly along the east coast for development whilst offering tax credits to encourage …

... more [truncated due to possible copyright]

Danish renewable energy company Orsted lost a quarter of its market value Wednesday after warning of hefty impairments related to three wind projects off the east coast of the U.S., adding further pressure to an industry hit by surging costs and supply delays.

Offshore wind developers are facing turbulence at the same time as demand for renewable energy is greater than ever, with governments moving to hit climate targets and boost electricity supplies. The Biden administration is targeting 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power to be installed by 2030, enough to power roughly 10 million homes, up from essentially zero now, and the country has opened up areas mainly along the east coast for development whilst offering tax credits to encourage development and cut costs.

But soaring inflation has seen materials and services costs rise while higher interest rates mean financing costs have surged, sending project costs spiraling out of control and forcing developers to renegotiate or exit contracts as projects are no longer profitable.

Norway’s Equinor and Britain’s BP are developing three wind farms off the coast of New York and said in June that they will need to renegotiate power prices or the projects won’t get financing, while a subsidiary of Spanish multinational Iberdrola last month agreed to pay $48 million to back out of an offshore wind-power deal in Massachusetts that it bid in September 2021, when project economics were more favorable.

A first-ever auction of offshore wind development rights in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a single $5.6 million winning bid on Tuesday, while two areas offshore Texas that were offered received no bids at all.

Orsted’s chief problems relate to three U.S offshore projects; the company said late Tuesday it could book up to 16 billion Danish kroner ($2.34 billion) in impairments in its third quarter earnings next month after reviewing the projects.

Those projects haven’t yet reached a final investment decision, which is the final stage before a project gets fully sanctioned, and Orsted said that although it hopes to move ahead, it will continue to explore alternative options.

“As we mature towards final investment decision, if the walk-away scenario is the economical, rational decision for us, then this remains a real scenario for us as an alternative to actually taking the final investment decision,” Chief Executive Mads Nipper said on a media call after the announcement.

Orsted has eight U.S. offshore projects off the coast of Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

The company is facing delays from suppliers, mainly from companies that build the offshore foundations as well as from a specialist installation vessel, which could create knock-on effects for final installation as well as potentially delaying revenue and increasing costs, but assuming no further supply chain issues the company will book impairments of up to DKK5 billion from this issue.

As part of U.S. efforts to encourage offshore development it offers tax incentives to wind developers which comprise a series of tax credits based on certain criteria such as using domestically produced materials and various jobs and location criteria, among others.

Orsted said it is in discussions with federal stakeholders to qualify for additional tax credits beyond 30%, aiming to qualify for at least 40% of credits on all of its projects, however, due to the lack of capacity in U.S. industry it’s currently impossible for any developers to qualify for the extra 10%. The company is “pushing really hard” to change the situation, Nipper said.

If its efforts prove unsuccessful, it could lead to impairments of up to DKK6 billion. In addition, if U.S. long-dated interest rates remain at the current level by the end of the third quarter, the company said it will cause impairments of around DKK5 billion.

“We still believe in the long term potential of the U.S. market but something needs to happen short-term in order for this industry to be scalable…it’s extremely important that the federal government takes this as seriously as they possibly can if they still intend to have scalable offshore wind,” Nipper said.

Orsted regularly evaluates all of its projects and Nipper said that at the moment its projects in the rest of the world are not in impairment territory.

However, other companies are facing similar problems in Europe. Swedish state-owned utility group Vattenfall last month decided to stop development of an offshore wind farm off the U.K. coast as higher inflation and interest rates meant the guaranteed price for electricity produced at the project was no longer enough to ensure project profitability.

Helene Bistrom, head of Vattenfall’s wind business, said at the time that a decent mechanism that reflected the current market situation was needed and that talks within the industry with suppliers, the U.K. government and developers were continuing.

Suppliers, too, have felt the pinch. Turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems has seen its shares fall 20% this year amid slowing orders as higher project costs and slow European permitting weigh on orders. Hopes have been high that the U.S. push into offshore wind would provide a boost to orders in the second half of this year, but shares slipped as much as 5.2% following news of Orsted’s U.S. woes.


Source:https://www.wsj.com/business/…

Share this post
Follow Us
RSS:XMLAtomJSON
Donate
Donate
Stay Updated

We respect your privacy and never share your contact information. | LEGAL NOTICES

Contact Us

WindAction.org
Lisa Linowes, Executive Director
phone: 603.838.6588

Email contact

General Copyright Statement: Most of the sourced material posted to WindAction.org is posted according to the Fair Use doctrine of copyright law for non-commercial news reporting, education and discussion purposes. Some articles we only show excerpts, and provide links to the original published material. Any article will be removed by request from copyright owner, please send takedown requests to: info@windaction.org

© 2024 INDUSTRIAL WIND ACTION GROUP CORP. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
WEBSITE GENEROUSLY DONATED BY PARKERHILL TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION