Government’s roadmap points offshore wind power in right direction

RenewableUK, Britain’s largest wind energy, wave and tidal energy association, has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a massive offshore wind farm expansion published today in the ‘UK Renewable Energy Roadmap’. The association also welcomed today’s publication of the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) document, stating that it properly addressed most of the industry’s concerns.

In his far-reaching plans, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne, today called for up to 18GW of offshore wind farm capacity to be built by 2020 – up from 13GW in 2009’s Renewable Energy Strategy. In addition, the Secretary of State also published the EMR proposals, billed as the ‘most significant reform of our electricity market for 30 years.’

RenewableUK commended the Secretary of State’s decision to set up a working group to examine ways to drive down costs within the industry over the next decade, to benefit consumers and ensure that Britain maintains its position as the world leader in offshore wind power. RenewableUK report on the subject, published in June, stated that given the right conditions costs could go down by 30%.

In addition, the industry stated that the marginal added cost of rolling out renewable and low carbon technologies, amounting to £13 or 1% on consumer bills by 2020, will be greatly outweighed by a host of benefits such as greater price stability and increased employment.

Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, said: "The Secretary of State’s announcement provides a huge boost to the wind turbines industry. It will increase investor confidence, allowing the sector to expand more rapidly. This will enhance the UK’s capacity to generate clean, green energy to meet our CO2 reduction targets, creating a low-carbon economy. There will be massive growth in jobs as a result of this expansion. Our evidence-based studies show that 90,000 people will be working in the wind energy and marine energy sector in ten years time. Today’s announcement will allay several industry concerns and provide a basis for continued engagement between industry and Government".