Norway's state-owned Statkraft could return to the British offshore wind market, but its key focus remains Ireland, Norway and Sweden, its CEO told Reuters on Friday.
"We are looking at Britain," Christian Rynning-Toennesen said after Statkraft's third-quarter earnings presentation, highlighting the country's plans for steady auctions.
He expected future rounds were being re-calibrated after Britain's most recent renewable energy auction failed to attract new offshore wind projects as subsidies were deemed too low and not reflecting rising costs in the industry.
Statkraft is also already one of Britain's biggest onshore renewables developers, has a large office in London, and knows the market well from previous offshore wind projects, he said.
The company previously held stakes in the Dogger Bank, Dudgeon, Sheringham Shoal, and Triton Knoll wind farms, but sold these in 2017 to focus on other technologies.
"We don't have any early-stage projects in England, so to the extent that we would go in now, it would have to be that we entered projects that others are selling out of," he said.
Still, the company's main focus for offshore wind is Ireland, where it is developing 2.2 gigawatts (GW) together with partner Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
It also plans to participate in Norway's first offshore wind auctions and in October bought Swedish Njordr Offshore Wind, which has an early-stage development pipeline of 21 GW.
Statkraft has a target to add 2.5-3 GW per year of new capacity from 2025, mostly in onshore wind and solar plants and batteries, helped by healthy cash reserves which totaled 33.8 billion crowns at the end of September.
Third-quarter underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell 46% to 4.9 billion Norwegian crowns ($440.68 million), on the back of lower power prices, although Statkraft's net profit rose 15% to 4.4 billion crowns.
($1 = 11.1192 Norwegian crowns)
(Reuters - Reporting by Nora Buli; Editing by Alexander Smith)