RenewableUK Responds to Atlantic Array Announcement
Commenting on RWE’s announcement that it has decided not continue developing the Atlantic Array offshore wind farm project, RenewableUK’s Director of Policy, Dr Gordon Edge, said:
“This is just one of a number of offshore wind farm projects in UK waters. Overall, we are set to achieve a massive increase in the amount of clean electricity that offshore wind can generate for British homes. It’s important that we focus on the most economic of these sites so that UK consumers pay the minimum required to bring this technology to commercial competitiveness and build a world-beating industry.
We already have 22 offshore wind farms operating successfully, providing electricity for two and a half million households. Four more are under construction right now, a further eight have been approved and another dozen are awaiting consent. That means that the current pipeline of projects gives us the potential to have 20 gigawatts of wind energy installed in UK waters – more than five times as much as we have now – and that’s just the start. The Department of Energy and Climate Change has said that up to 39GW is possible by 2030, as long as the industry is successful in reducing the cost of energy from offshore wind. Installing such a sizable capacity would maintain Britain’s global lead in this dynamic field and secure even more economic benefit for this country.
Wind turbine technology is evolving extremely rapidly, so it’s reasonable to expect that sites which aren’t viable now will become so in the future. For example, a unique project to build an offshore wind farm with turbines on floating platforms in UK waters has just been announced. We’re continually learning how best to harness some of the most powerful forces in nature, so that we can make a successful transition from fossil fuels to cost-effective low-carbon renewables.”
Press release, November 26, 2013; Image: RWE