Offshore, Project Development, Wind Power

Massive British Investment in Windpower

With one of the strongest wind resources in Europe, Britain is poised to make one of its largest single investments in renewable energies by granting approval for 13 offshore wind farms.

LONDON, England, UK, 2001-10-31 [] “It’s an exciting time for the UK wind industry,” says Nick Goodall of the British Wind Energy Association. “This year is the most successful ever for onshore construction and there can’t be many people who aren’t aware that the UK is building 18 offshore windfarms.” The federal government, as owner of the offshore seabed, has had a substantial response from private companies that are interested in developing 13 of the sites which, over the next four years, could generate up to 1,500 MW in capacity. Between three to five miles offshore, each site will have at least 30 turbines of 2 to 3 MW capacity, on towers of 250 feet. Among the first companies to be awarded offshore licenses are Powergen Renewable Offshore Wind and AMEC Offshore Wind Power. The projects have a potential total cost of Euro $2.5 billion. The British government mechanism for meeting its targets on climate change, the Renewables Obligation, sets a renewable energy target of 10 percent of the country’s electricity supply by 2010. This favours technologies such as wind, which is anticipated to provide almost half of the green electricity required under the legislation. BWEA reports an increase in the number of companies establishing their green credentials in advance of the legislation coming into effect, together with growing interest from companies that recognize the opportunities offered by wind energy development. “What we’re finally seeing is the message that going green is a good business strategy, and wind power undoubtedly makes the best sense of all,” says Goodall.