Lack of extra support for offshore wind

Paul Boughton

UK's offshore wind energy programme could be in doubt and the carbon reducing potential of technology may not fully realised

The wind industry has expressed disappointment as the UK Government's Climate Change Programme failed to identify the additional support needed to ensure that offshore wind projects, essential to meeting our climate and renewables targets, are delivered on time.

BWEA, as part of its submission to the Climate Review, had called on Government to make additional financial support available for offshore wind projects – of which some 2,000 megawatts (MW) could be built by 2010.

Without this long-term additional support the future of the UK's offshore wind energy programme is in doubt and the significant carbon reducing potential of this key technology may not be fully realised.

The disappointing news follows more positive news from the wind industry on the development of onshore projects. New research released yesterday by BWEA shows that onshore market is due to exceed previous predictions and deliver some 6,000 MW of wind power capacity by 2010 and generate almost 5 per cent of the nation's electricity needs.

Marcus Rand, BWEA's Chief Executive, said: "We had hoped this climate review would inject an additional boost to offshore wind to ensure it joined onshore as a major provider of new power and carbon savings to hit our 2010 targets. The Government's failure to act in this review must be addressed in the forthcoming Energy Review. Without a vibrant offshore wind sector it is hard to see how the Government's 2010 climate targets can be met and how our 20% renewable aspirations by 2020 can become a working reality."

* BWEA’s fifth annual dedicated offshore conference and exhibition is being held 4-5th April at the QEII Centre, Westminster. More than 300 senior figures from the UK renewables industry will gather to hear expert speakers including Sir David King’s keynote address, while Stephen Sackur, journalist and presenter, will chair a lively debate on the Energy Review, with confirmed panellists Tom Burke (E3G), Professor Ian Fells (Fells Associates & Founding Chair of NaREC), Tony Grayling (IPPR) and Clive Bates (The Environment Agency). The first day of the conference will close with an evening reception to sponsor the launch of new Health & Safety guidance from BWEA, the Wind Turbine Safety Rules.

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