Wind energy’s vital role

A new report claims offshore wind will be critical in meeting our future energy needs.

The report by the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG) says off-shore wind will be vital in replacing aging power plants, saving up to £89bn from the UK’s energy bill, and has the potential to take a large share of a global £1 trillion market by 2050.

As well as reducing reliance on imported gas and meeting GHG emissions and renewable energy targets, offshore wind could offer business opportunities of up to £35bn to UK companies. The report also predicts that by 2050 offshore wind could deliver c.20-50% of total UK electricity generation.

The UK has a large natural resource of wind power around its coast, and offshore wind power is a commercially available, proven technology to capture this resource. But the report highlights that offshore wind power is currently a relatively high cost source of energy. How much and how quickly it is deployed will depend on how successful innovation is in reducing costs.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Innovation is key to the growth of the low carbon economy here in the UK. This new analysis will help us better understand the value of these technologies to our growing green economy as well as the barriers to commercialisation, helping us put our available investment in the right place to spur on further innovation.”

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