World offshore renewables market worth £8 billion

The global offshore renewable energy market could be worth £8bn by
2007, according to a new report published this week by UK Energy Minister Brian Wilson.

The global offshore renewable energy market could be worth £8 billion by2007, according to a new report published this week by Energy Minister Brian Wilson.

Publishing the World Offshore Renewable Energy Report 2002-2007, Mr Wilson said: ‘The UK must not waste the opportunity to be world leaders in the expanding global offshore renewables market.

‘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.’

The World Offshore Renewable Energy Report 2002-2007 was commissioned by Renewables UK, which the minister established to help create a supply chain for renewables technologies as well as promoting exports.

The report estimates that the scale and sheer number of offshore wind developments makes it the largest sector accounting for over 97 per cent of the forecast expenditure.

The report also found that annual global offshore wind installations will exceed 900 MW by 2007. Though Denmark has the current lead with a forecast of 300 MW over the period 2001 to 2003, the removal of government subsidies means the UK will become the next major growth market. It also found that the UK is expected to install 907 MW of wind installations, which is 21 per cent of the global new capacity, by 2007.

Speaking at the Strategic Alliances in Wind power conference, which encourages companies from different backgrounds to diversify into wind power, Mr Wilson said: ‘Globally, to date, less than 100 MW of offshore operating capacity have been developed. The report suggests that globally 900 new MW of offshore operating capacity will be added each year by 2007 and more importantly that the UK can play a huge part in this expansion.

‘The UK has already got off to an encouraging start. Within the last twelve months the total number of future offshore wind projects under consideration has grown from 22 to 96. However, it is crucial that we continue to build momentum over the next few years. This report makes its crystal clear that the offshore renewables industry is at a crucial turning point.’

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