‘Massive’ potential for UK’s offshore wind industry

RenewableUK said offshore wind can secure economic growth and cheaper electricity. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
RenewableUK said offshore wind can secure economic growth and cheaper electricity. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
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The UK can expand its offshore wind capacity to almost five times its current level by 2030, having the most economically attractive offshore wind resources in Europe, according to a new report.

The study says that a total capacity of at least 25 gigawatts (GW) can be installed in UK waters by the end of the next decade.

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The report, by independent consultants BVG Associates, says that would be enough to power more than 20 million homes, which is 75 per cent of all households in the UK.

This would retain the UK’s global lead in offshore wind, as the report states that Germany would remain in second place with 14GW by 2030.

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It can be achieved, the report adds, by using larger offshore wind turbines, each with a capacity of 13GW (the largest currently are 8GW). It also envisages an expansion in floating offshore wind farms, in addition to projects with traditional foundations.

RenewableUK’s executive director, Emma Pinchbeck, said: “This report shows what our innovative offshore wind industry can deliver in the years ahead, securing economic growth and cheaper electricity.

“The government can help us by continuing to hold fiercely competitive auctions for financial support, as well as putting offshore wind at the heart of its upcoming Industrial Strategy.”

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The report was commissioned by trade body WindEurope to coincide with the first day of the Offshore Wind Energy 2017 conference in London.

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