Ill wind blows away turbine project

15th September 2011

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Mitigation ,
  • Generation ,
  • Renewable ,
  • Skills



The collapse of plans to build 10MW wind turbines at a factory in Northumberland has not damaged the buoyant mood of the offshore sector, according to the industry trade body.

RenewableUK’s head of offshore wind, Nick Medic, says that the announcement ending the Britannia project, which had been due to receive £6.9 million of government support, should not be seen in isolation.

“While the project kicked off a surge of interest in manufacturing, in its wake we have had a number of important announcements from many of the major players in the offshore wind industry, including Siemens, Gamesa and Vestas, which shows interest is not abating.”

Meanwhile, Ditlev Engel, CEO of Vestas, has called on governments to provide help to renewables firms to attract the investment they need to drive the transition to decarbonised energy.

“Regulatory certainty is what we really need to make sure this moves forward,” he said. Medic agreed: “We need to have a firm business case on top of government’s commitment to reduce carbon. Primarily we need to have a good price per unit of energy generated.”

In a bid to ensure that offshore wind can compete with traditional forms of electricity generation, the government has appointed Andrew Jamieson, a director of ScottishPower and the chair of RenewableUK, to lead a new working group tasked with cutting the costs of the technology.

The group aims to lower the price of energy from offshore turbines to that of gas-powered plants by 2020.

The government is also investing £6.5 million to fund up to 50 students over the next 10 years studying for an engineering doctorate through the new Industrial Doctorate Centre in Offshore Renewable Energy.

Students will spend 75% of their time working in industry and the rest researching, designing and testing new technology at leading universities.


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