UK’s Offshore Wind Energy Program In Doubt

The British wind industry expressed disappointment as the Government’s Climate Change Program failed to identify the long-term additional support needed to ensure that offshore wind projects, essential to meeting the UK’s climate and renewables targets, are delivered on time.

The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA), as part of its submission to the Climate Review, had called on the government to make additional financial support available for offshore wind projects — of which some 2,000 megawatts (MW) could be built by 2010. In addition to concerns about the future of the UK’s offshore wind energy program is the risk that the significant carbon-reducing potential of this key technology may not be fully realized. Concerning onshore project development, however, new research recently released by BWEA showed that the onshore market is due to exceed previous predictions and deliver around 6,000 MW of wind power capacity by 2010, which would generate almost 5% of the nation’s electricity needs. “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,” said Marcus Rand, BWEA’s Chief Executive. “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.”
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