Fair wind power for offshore renewables

The UK is the world leader in offshore wind with more projects installed, in planning and in construction than any other country in the world. By 2020 at least 20,000MW of offshore wind is expected to be installed and operating in UK waters.

Maria McCaffery MBE, BWEA Chief Executive said: "Keeping the 2 ROCs funding for offshore wind energy will help the UK retain its world lead and kickstart billions of pounds of investment ahead of the next major phase of offshore developments."

Support for offshore wind was increased from 1.5 to 2 ROCs in the 2009 Budget in April this year, for all projects that reach financial close in the 2009 to 2010 financial year. This had an immediate positive effect, with a number of offshore wind projects coming forward in the first half of 2009. Today’s announcement will extend 2 ROCs for all projects accredited by 2014.

The industry also welcomed an additional £50 million investment for the funding of new UK offshore wind manufacturing and testing facilities, and reiterated that, with the right policy support, the wind sector could deliver 60 000 jobs and 30% of our electricity by 2020

McCaffery said: "There are up to 3000 MW worth of projects which should now benefit from this new support – in the current economic climate this will make a vital contribution to inward investment and employment, as well as delivering on the 2020 targets."

In UK waters there are currently 228 offshore wind turbines with an installed capacity of 688 MW, with a further 1407 in construction and approved, totaling 4598 MW. It is estimated that each MW of offshore wind could power around 640 homes.

 The British Wind Energy Association is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with 476 corporate members, BWEA is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK. Wind has been the world’s fastest growing renewable energy source for the last seven years, and this trend is expected to continue with falling costs of wind energy and the urgent international need to tackle CO2 emissions to prevent climate change.

Our primary purpose is to promote the use of wind power in and around the UK, both onshore and offshore. We act as a central point for information for our membership and as a lobbying group to promote wind energy and marine renewables to government. We research and find solutions to current issues and generally act as the forum for the UK wind industry, and have an annual turnover in excess of one million pounds.

Support for offshore wind was increased from 1.5 to 2 ROCs in the 2009 Budget in April this year, for all projects that ordered turbines in the 2009 to 2010 financial year and built their first turbine foundation by the end of 2011.