Scottish referendum gives Infinis the jitters
Published 08/08/2014 | 00:00
Infinis Energy, a renewable-power company backed by Guy Hands' venture capital fund, said it's holding off on a decision on whether to build two wind farms until Scotland decides whether it will remain part of the UK.
The wind farms together would have a capacity of almost 100 megawatts, accounting for more than half the company's 130-150 megawatt 2017 target. It won't begin construction until the results of a referendum set for September 18 are announced, Infinis said in a statement.
The remark in an earnings statement is a rare admission by a public company that the political decision about Scotland's future is having an impact on business.
Polls suggest there's enough undecided voters to swing the referendum in favour of breaking up Scotland's 300-year-old union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Infinis exported power equivalent to 5.7pc of the UK's total generation from renewables in the year through March 31. Its operating wind portfolio has capacity of 274 megawatts and it also produces electricity from landfill gas.
While its landfill gas facilities contributed 71pc of its total exported power, electricity from onshore wind grew almost 50pc, representing 28pc.
Onshore wind is one of the cheapest forms of clean energy, when prices are comparable with coal-fired power. Wind costs about €64 a megawatt hour versus €61.5 for the fossil fuel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The UK intends to expand renewable energy to meet 15pc of demand in 2020 from about 9.4pc now.