A report from the Technology Innovation Needs Assessment says emphasis by the country on offshore wind power could save up to $89bn from the UK energy bill, but only if innovative ways are found to reduce costs, due to the relatively high cost source of the energy.

Click Green reports that as well as reducing reliance on imported gas and meeting GHG emissions and renewable energy targets, offshore wind could offer business opportunities of up to £35bn to UK companies.

Offshore wind farm

The Report produced by the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG) predicts that by 2050 analysis suggests offshore wind could deliver c.20-50 per cent of total UK electricity generation.

This depends primarily on the constraints (economic, technical or public acceptance) to alternatives (onshore wind, nuclear, and CCS), and on the overall energy demand.

“Innovation has the potential to drive down the costs of offshore wind by 25 per cent by 2020 and 60 per cent by 2050. Together with savings in the supply chain and financing, this could reduce the cost of energy to about £100/MWh by 2020 and £60/MWh by 2050. Such improvements would enable large deployment potential, and greatly reduce energy system costs.”

Greg Barker
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker (pictured) said: “Innovation is key to the growth of the low carbon economy here in the UK. This new analysis will help us better understand the value of these technologies to our growing green economy as well as the barriers to commercialisation, helping us put our available investment in the right place to spur on further innovation.”

The report also stated: “Over the next decade, offshore wind has the potential to replace much of the UK‟s aging power plant whilst helping to meet our GHG emissions and renewable energy targets and reducing reliance on gas and fuel imports. Offshore wind can be rapidly deployed at scale with fewer planning constraints than onshore wind, has a quicker development time than nuclear power and, unlike CCS, has already been proven at scale.”

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