BIG NEWS IN UK OFFSHORE WIND
UK offshore wind has been generating powerful news this week.
Ahead of the annual British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) conference, German utility giant E.ON announced it had secured funding to proceed with the world’s biggest offshore installation, the 1,000-megawatt London Array. (See ABU DHABI FUNDS UK OFFSHORE WIND)
Nevertheless, UK developers replied with headlines claiming only with MORE investment could they be sure of building enough capacity to help the Brown government meet the nation’s ambitious goal of generating 10% of its power from New Energy sources by 2010.
Then came the announcement Britain is now the world’s biggest generator of electricity from offshore wind. With the Lynn and Inner Dowsing projects on line, the UK has 590 megawatts of offshore capacity, passing Denmark to become the world leader.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent a video message to the conference. He said the UK can make wind in the North Sea what oil is in the Arabian Gulf and he promised not to allow the current financial crisis to prevent it.
A recently announced UK Carbon Trust public-private, £30 million initiative to facilitate offshore wind development and cut installation costs 10% is indicative of the Brown government's courageous commitment.
Tom Delay, chief executive, Carbon Trust.: "The UK has an amazing opportunity not just to lead the world but to be the dominant global player…Our research shows that by 2020 the UK market could represent almost half of the global market for offshore wind power. To make that happen it will be critical to improve the current economics of offshore wind power."
Many in the UK want the government to more aggressively develop domestic wind manufacturing capacity as a means of spurring the British economy.
Doug Parr, chief scientist, Greenpeace: "We need a green new deal for renewable energy, creating tens of thousands of new jobs and providing a shot in the arm to the British manufacturing sector. If the government now diverts serious financial and political capital towards this project it will put Britain in pole position to tackle the emerging challenges of the 21st century."
Prime Minister Brown’s message to the BWEA conference: "You may have heard some people say that these difficult economic times should or will reduce the Government's commitment to building a low carbon economy. They should not and will not…On the contrary, the investment and jobs we will create from our commitment to low carbon energy is one of the drivers that will bring us new prosperity."
For more information, see UK offshore wind and UK Offshore Wind: Moving up a gear
click to enlarge
UK overtakes Denmark as world’s biggest offshore wind generator; Completion of a 194MW windfarm off the coast of Lincolnshire sees the UK become the world leader in generating electricity from offshore wind
Alok Jha, October 21, 2008 (UK Guardian)
Wind farms: Britain has enough offshore to provide power to 300,000
Paul Eccleston, 22 October 2008 (UK Telegraph)
Centrica; Tom Delay, chief executive, Carbon Trust; Mike O'Brien, minister, UK Department of Energy and Climate Change; Nick Rau, renewable energy campaigner, Friends of the Earth (FOE); Maria McCaffery, chief executive, British Wind Energy Association (BWEA); Doug Parr, chief scientist, Greenpeace
Completion of a new offshore wind installation makes the UK the world leader in offshore wind energy installed capacity. The UK government reaffirmed its intention resolve remaining controversies, obtain financing and drive the nation’s wind industry.
Newly online offshore wind projects in orange. (click to enlarge)
- October 2008: The UK’s installed offshore wind capacity now surpasses that of Denmark and makes it the world leader.
- 2010: The Brown government wants to the UK to obtain 10% of its power from New Energy sources.
- 2020: The UK could have 50% of Europe’s offshore wind installed capacity.
- The Lynn and Inner Dowsing projects are off the UK’s east coast near Skegness, Lincolnshire.
- The UK now has 590 megawatts of offshore wind capacity.
- Denmark has 423 megawatts of offshore wind capacity.
- Prime Minister Brown told the BWEA conference the UK has the best wind and wave resources in Europe.
- The Lynn and Inner Dowsing, built by Centrica, have a combined 194 megawatt capacity.
- UK currently has 3 gigawatts of wind power capacity, 80% from onshore farms.
- The UK is still behind other European Union nations in the development of total New Energy capacity.
- The EU is expected to develop 40 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2020, about half by the UK.
click to enlarge
- Mike O'Brien, minister, UK Department of Energy and Climate Change: "Offshore wind is hugely important to help realise the government's ambition to dramatically increase the amount of energy from renewable sources. Overtaking Denmark is just the start…There are already five more offshore windfarms under construction that will add a further 938MW to our total by the end of next year."
- Nick Rau, renewable energy campaigner, FOE: "The government must stop trying to wriggle out of European green energy targets and put a massive effort into making renewable power the number one source of energy in the UK. The UK has one of the biggest renewable energy potentials in Europe - this must be harnessed to make this country a world leader in tackling climate change."
- Maria McCaffery, chief executive, BWEA: "We are now a global leader in a renewable energy technology for the first time ever. Now is the time to step up the effort even further and secure the huge potential for jobs, investment and export revenues that offshore wind has for Britain."