Centrica plc (Centrica) has asked the UK government to increase financial incentives for offshore wind power generation as the companies are finding it difficult to move ahead with development of the costly projects. The current banding of giving offshore wind developers 1.5 renewable obligations certificates (ROC) per megawatt of wind developed was insufficient. The UK is counting on offshore wind power to meet European Union climate change targets of cutting carbon emissions by 2020.

Offshore wind is at risk in the current environment, Centrica Chief Executive Officer Sam Laidlaw said.

A ROC regime of two times banding would help the U.K. meet its renewables targets with offshore wind, Laidlaw said.

The government plans to sign contracts with companies to develop up to 25 gigawatt of offshore wind power by the end of 2009.

But companies are anxious about financing the investments, which at around GBP3 million a megawatt are roughly double that of onshore wind. The recent banking crisis has also made project finance difficult to come by and more expensive.