Wind farm regulation

According to a new report from The Carbon Trust, relaxing the constraints that dictate where offshore wind farms can be built could cut £16bn from the overall cost of developing offshore wind.


Relaxing the constraints that dictate where offshore wind farms can be built could cut £16bn from the overall cost of developing offshore wind, according to a new report from The Carbon Trust.


Applying all the current constraints would require the UK’s next round of offshore wind farms to be built at great expense 70 miles from the shore and in deep waters.


But allowing wind farms to be built nearer to the shore and in shallower waters could enable 29GW of offshore wind farms to be built by 2020.


This, the trust argues, would help the UK meet renewable energy targets, cut carbon emissions by 14 per cent, create 70,000 new jobs and bolster energy security.


Tom Delay, chief executive of The Carbon Trust, an independent company set up by the UK government in response to the threat of climate change, said: ‘If we are to meet our 2020 renewable targets we need a dash for wind on a comparable scale to the dash for gas of the 1990s.


‘Slashing the costs of offshore wind must now be a priority for UK energy policy.


‘The government must use the upcoming consultation on this important issue to unlock the most economically attractive sites for development.’


Duncan Ayling, head of offshore at the British Wind Energy Association, said: ‘Offshore energy sources and wind in particular can deliver the lion’s share of the UK’s 2020 renewable energy targets.


‘The Carbon Trust’s report makes a clear case for the urgent need to get the support and regulation right.


‘The outcome could be a revolution in the way electricity is produced and distributed in this country, with potentially 25 per cent of UK electricity demand being powered by offshore wind.’


A copy of the report can be found by clicking here.