Offshore renewables could reach à‚£8bn, says Minister

8 November 2002 – Within five years, the world market for offshore renewable energies could be à‚£8bn ($12.7bn), says British energy minister Brian Wilson.

The European market would account for 90 per cent of that value, with wind energy comprising 97 per cent of the total, according to the ‘World Offshore Renewable Energy Report 2002-2007,’ commissioned by Renewables UK and released by Wilson to the Strategic Alliances in Wind conference.

“The UK must not waste the opportunity to be world leaders in the expanding global offshore renewables market,” he says. “On top of the UK having one of the world’s best offshore resources in terms of wind, wave, tide and currents, we also have a highly experienced industrial base serving the offshore oil and gas industry. This combination means we can provide both the supply and demand for this huge global market.”

Offshore windfarm installations will exceed 900 MW a year around the world by 2007, and the removal of government subsidies in Germany means that Britain will become the next major market, says Wilson. The UK will install 907 MW of wind turbines by 2007, which is 21 per cent of the global new capacity.

Less than 100 MW of offshore capacity has been developed around the world, but he says Britain has made an “encouraging start” with 96 applications for offshore windfarms under consideration, compared with 22 last year. The government wants to create an annual market of à‚£2bn for renewables by 2010, largely prompted by the Renewables Obligation and à‚£300m of direct financial support for green energy.

“It is crucial that we continue to build momentum over the next few years,” he adds. “This report makes its crystal clear that the offshore renewables industry is at a crucial turning point.”

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