BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 22 July '16

European developers join forces with the Carbon Trust to make offshore wind cheaper

The Carbon Trust has revealed details of a new European phase of its Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) programme.

Efficiency and availability

The programme is designed to affect the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) from offshore wind by reducing costs and improving both the efficiency and availability of existing and future offshore wind farms.

Nine of the largest offshore wind developers in Europe – DONG Energy, EnBW, E.ON, Iberdrola, RWE, SSE, Statkraft, Statoil and Vattenfall – have signed up to the programme.

Over the next four years the developers will collectively invest at least £6.4 million, boosted by a further £1.5 million from the Scottish Government, to bring new innovations to market that will help to ensure that the typical  cost of offshore wind is below £100 per MWh by 2020.

‘The Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) is a collaborative programme run by the Carbon Trust, which aims to reduce the cost of offshore wind through technological innovation…

‘Only last month, around 350 jobs were announced as a direct result of the construction of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm, highlighting the massive opportunity offshore wind presents to Scotland and the Scottish economy.

‘Innovation in renewables also continues to contribute to the excellent progress we are making on reducing greenhouse gas emissions after the recent announcement that Scotland has exceeded our 2020 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42% six years early.’

PAUL WHEELHOUSE
Scottish Government’s Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy

A record year

Following a record year for installations in 2015 the European Wind Energy Association estimates that over 20GW of offshore wind will be deployed in Europe by 2020.

As well as creating a low carbon secure source of electricity, offshore wind also offers greater economic and employment opportunities. Estimates from the International Renewable Energy Agency show that jobs in the European offshore wind industry increased twelvefold between 2007 (6,370) to 2014 (75,000).

‘Over the last five years the cost of energy from offshore wind has decreased significantly, largely driven by a combination of innovation, risk reduction and increased deployment rates. But we need to continue building on this success by getting the right solutions into market quickly to put offshore wind on the path to cost competitiveness by 2020.

‘The Offshore Wind Accelerator has an impressive track record, providing an effective mechanism for public and private sector to work together to meet the cost reduction challenge head on. Its success lies in the sharing of the risks and rewards of innovation through industry-led collaborative research, development and deployment.’

TOM DELAY
CEO of the Carbon Trust

OWA partners including RWE, E.ON, Vattenfall and Statoil were among a group of companies who published an open letter earlier this month, outlining a pledge to cut the cost of offshore wind farms to make them a competitive source of electricity generation. The declaration set out an ambition to reach €80 per megawatt hour by 2025.

Click here to find out more about the Offshore Wind Accelerator.