The news that Amec is pulling out of wind power is not surprising but it is disappointing. However, every disappointment is an opportunity in disguise: if handled correctly.
I believe that it is likely that it is likely that British Energy has tried to force Amec to buy it's share in the consortium but that the global economic circumstances have meant that Amec can neither find the cash, nor wants to make further investments in a higher-risk scheme. Consequently, instead of buying out BE, it has probably decided to try to sell the portfolio of wind power schemes to realise cash in a very tight financial market.
Before either side (pro- or anti-wind) celebrates bear the following in mind:
Whoever buys the portfolio will have a cheap asset and will be prepared to spend more on developing parts of the portfolio
It is likely that the LWP scheme will be cherry-picked (turbines on Stornoway Trust land only)
Whilst the current community benefit is the new base position for any new applicants, they are likely to be less committed/interested in the community and more in the bottom line
Any new developers will do less to help community schemes, unless there is more in it for them.
Overall, I am disappointed that Amec are probably going as it will be difficult to build a new relationship with more commercially driven and more ruthless developers, but it also means that the huge schemes are probably dead; which undoubtedly will please many people.
It strikes me that windpower in the UK is moving into the second stage of investment: the first stage being the highly speculative gamble on a new technology; stage two is the followers, and those who snap up the fallen; finally, the third stage involves a mature industry, stable returns and mass investment.
We are on the cusp of the end of the first stage, and it might be that the future for large-scale wind is all downhill from here. The opportunity is to find how to exploit the remaining wind opportunities; and the new opportunities that arise from the newer renewable industries.