Millions to be invested in cutting cost of offshore wind

11th July 2016


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  • Generation ,
  • Renewable

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IEMA

The Carbon Trust has announced a new multimillion-pound programme that aims to significantly reduce the cost of offshore wind energy.

Nine of Europe’s largest offshore wind developers and the Scottish government have pledged through the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) programme to invest £7.9 million in research and development in technologies to bring down the cost of offshore wind power by 2020 to below £100 per MWh.

Tom Delay, chief executive officer at the trust, described the scheme, which has been operating for eight years, as an effective mechanism for public and private sector to work together to meet head on the cost reduction challenge. ‘Its success lies in the sharing of the risks and rewards of innovation through industry-led collaborative research, development and deployment,’ said Delay.

The Scottish government, which is providing £1.5 million, welcomed the new programme. Paul Wheelhouse, minister for business, innovation and energy, said: 'Previous Scottish government support for the OWA has helped develop new ideas in key areas of importance to companies operating in Scottish waters and I have no doubt this new funding will help firms to continue this important work. Only last month, around 350 new jobs were announced as a direct result of the construction of the Beatrice offshore windfarm, highlighting the massive opportunity offshore wind presents to Scotland and the Scottish economy.’

The nine companies signed up to OWA initiative are: DONG Energy, EnBW, E.ON, Iberdrola, RWE, SSE, Statkraft, Statoil and Vattenfall. Jonathan Cole, managing director at Iberdrola Offshore, said: ‘The North Sea is the world's leading offshore wind development area, and the collaboration between large international developers here is a welcome move towards securing and delivering affordable low-carbon energy generation.’

Estimates from the International Renewable Energy Agency show that jobs in the European offshore wind industry increased twelvefold between 2007 (6,370) to 2014 (75,000). The European Wind Energy Association estimates that more than 20GW of offshore wind will be deployed in Europe by 2020.

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