Siemens Windpower will receive £5 million as agreed in a previous funding round and a further £5million of grants will be awarded to seven UK companies with the aim of building the UK supply chain and developing new cost-effective technologies for offshore wind turbines.
A recent report from RenewableUK Building An Industry predicted that the UK offshore wind energy sector could potentially create employment for 45,000 people in this country along with a substantial UK manufacturing base.
RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with 600 corporate members, RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK. Our primary purpose is to promote the use of renewable power in and around the UK, both onshore and offshore. We act as a central point of information for our membership and as a lobbying group to promote renewable energy to government.
The UK’s offshore wind power potential has been developed through a series of competitive leasing rounds by The Crown Estate, landlord and steward of the UK’s seabed. Rounds 1 and 2 provided a combined total of 8GW of potential capacity, whilst Round 3 awarded licences for up to 32GW of electricity in January 2010.
According to data for 2008, contained in the Digest of UK’s Energy Statistics (published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change), each 1GW of installed offshore wind turbine capacity is sufficient to satisfy the annual electricity consumption of 684,000 UK households.