UK wind energy targets achievable, says Crown Estate

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The Crown Estate has today published a study of the UK offshore wind market that reviews the existing programme, and identifies future opportunities and potential challenges.

Among the key findings, the report concludes that the offshore wind sector is capable of meeting the government’s ambition of deploying up to 18GW of capacity by 2020, subject to regulatory certainty and the timely implementation of the Electricity Market Reform; achieving cost reductions in offshore wind; and securing a viable level of financial support.

The report supports the findings of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC’s) Renewables Roadmap – that the UK can consolidate its position as a global leader, capitalising on its natural resource, operational capacity and pipeline of projects.

In a statement Huub den Rooijen, head of Offshore Wind said: ‘Our report identifies a range of factors which are central to the ongoing success of UK offshore wind and to the industry realising its potential.

‘These can be summarised as the three C’s: confidence, capacity and co-ordination. Whilst the sector faces a range of challenges, none of these are insurmountable, provided that appropriate action is taken.

‘The Crown Estate will continue to work with DECC, the devolved administrations and industry in creating favourable conditions that will encourage global capital to invest in the UK offshore wind industry.’

Richard Howard, chief economist for the Energy and Infrastructure portfolio added, ‘The report looks at six scenarios for the future development of UK offshore wind and the wider power sector.

‘There are three key areas which come out as central to the success of offshore wind namely: overall cost and carbon competitiveness of offshore wind as against that of other sources of energy; external factors such as gas prices; and regulatory and political support.

‘It is possible to create a virtuous circle of political support and industry investment which builds critical mass and leads to cost reduction; in which case we could envisage significant deployment of offshore wind to 2020 and beyond.’