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Renewable Energy Off-shoreWind

Offshore wind generation offers the potential to

considerably expand the UK’s renewable energy content.

The UK is one of a small number of countries to have reached 5 gigawatts (GW) of wind power (onshore and offshore).

We are number one in the world for offshore wind power generation having overtaken Denmark in 2008.

UK Marine energy technology to benefit under new Renewable energy proposals

IThe Government is looking to encourage investment in the UK’s energy infrastructure with proposals, just released, supporting the use of renewable energy.

The new consultation document (20th October 2011) from the Department for Energy and Climate Change sets out the proposals for levels of banded support under the Renewables Obligation for 2013-17. Stakeholders are invited to submit comments and evidence in response to the proposals by 12 January 2012.

The 100-turbine Thanet windfarm, off the coast of Kent, is the biggest offshore project in the world – this means that Britain generates more power from offshore wind than the rest of the world put together.

The Thanet Windfarm

There are 100 Vestas V90 wind turbines that have a total capacity of 300 MW. This is sufficient to supply more than 200,000 homes per year with clean energy.

An Environmental Impact Assessment has been prepared to determine the effects on the local environment. The scope of these studies has been agreed with the appropriate government and environmental bodies.

Benefits to the local area

A range of potential benefits may accrue to the east Kent area from this development, including:

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The total investment for completing the wind farm is in the order of around £780 million. A proportion of this was spent locally with benefits for local suppliers and services. Local contractors and workers were used in support of the development. A local maintenance facility has been built in the Port of Ramsgate, 21 people have been hired and 20 of these are from East Kent. Tourism may be boosted. Many visitors have been attracted to both onshore and offshore wind farm developments in the past.

Making a significant contribution towards the South East’s renewable targets to help tackle the problems of climate change.

Facts •

The connection of Thanet’s 300MW of capacity in 2010 will boost UK offshore wind capacity by more than 30% and will produce on average enough electricity to supply more than 200,000 homes with clean electricity.

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One of five potential offshore wind farms in the Thames Estuary Strategic Environmental Area.

The wind farm is located in water depths of 20-25m and cover an area of 35km2. There are 100 turbines generating a total of 300MW of renewable electricity, enough to power more than 200,000 homes. The nearest turbine is located approx 12km north east of Foreness Point. Each turbine is 115m tall at its highest point, with a minimum clearance above sea level of 22m.

The distance between turbines is approximately 500m along rows and 800m between rows.

Vattenfall acquired the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm project in November 2008 and

Construction was completed in September 2010. Vattenfall is one of Europe's largest generators of electricity and largest producer of heat. Vattenfall is one of the biggest wind power operators in Britain and is the fifth largest energy

sufficient to supply more than 200,000 homes per year with

clean energy.

The consultation proposes new support levels for large-scale renewable electricity from 2013-17 (2014-17 for offshore wind) under the Renewables Obligation (RO).

The aim of the proposals is that by 2017, 70% of the UK’s ‘2020 renewable energy target’ will have been achieved.

The proposal recommends reducing support for hydro-electricity and onshore wind by 10%, in order to reflect long term cost movements, and to prevent poorly sited projects which are more expensive to develop. However support for new technologies such as wave & tidal will increase. The Government recognises that while these are not currently ready for commercial-scale deployment there is significant potential for them to help meet longer term goals. Investment now would help bring the technology into mainstream deployment. Full details of the levels of proposed support can be found in the proposal document.


generates more power from offshore wind than the rest of the world put together.

Currently grants are the only source of

funding for wave & tidal, with over £100m invested todate. However, the £22m Marine Renewables Proving Fund has taken six of the leading device developers to a point where they are ready to test full-scale prototypes in the marine environment. Financial modelling, based the demonstration stage technology, has shown that it will require both grant and market support to generate the internal rates of return necessary to justify investment from utilities and large industrial organisations.

Capital costs for demonstration-stage wave devices are estimated to be in the range of £3.9m and £5.6m/MW, whilst the capital costs for demonstration-stage tidal stream (shallow) devices range between £3.0m and £4.6m/MW41. However, costs are expected to reduce dramatically as the first deployments of arrays come forward,

The Government said that deployment of around 50-150MW during the banding period should enable developers to demonstrate viability of the technology at commercial scale, paving the way for cost reduction which will allow them to compete with other low carbon technologies in the future.

Marine energy is identified in the UK Renewable Energy Roadmap as one of the technologies which have “either the greatest potential to help the UK meet the 2020 renewables target in a cost effective and sustainable way, or offer great potential for the decades that follow”. It is estimated that, by 2035, the UK marine energy industry could be worth £6.1bn pa and employ 19,500 people.

Ministers ask Investors to back offshore wind

Investment funds, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds were among groups yesterday being asked to join the UK’s renewable energy revolution and invest in large offshore wind projects.

At a conference, yesterday (28th Novemeber), in London, Ministers met with potential investors in offshore wind projects to establish what can be done to increase investment in this area. The UK needs around £200bn of investment in new energy infrastructure to help reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels and boost our energy security. Much of this will need to come from sources beyond the UK’s current major energy suppliers.

The Prime Minister David Cameron, said:

“I see offshore wind as a significant energy and industrial opportunity for the UK, and one that I am determined to seize.

“I believe the UK will remain the 31

world’s most attractive offshore wind market for many years to come. We have abundant natural advantages and a world-leading marine engineering base.

"The Coalition Government strongly supports the growth of renewable energy in order to help diversify and decarbonise our long-term energy mix."

Charles Hendry, Minister of State for Energy, said:

“Getting new capital into projects like offshore wind farms is the difference between getting them off the drawing board and into the water, creating jobs and stimulating growth. “We have invited potential investors to London today to make the case for offshore wind as a stable, long-term and lucrative investment opportunity. The UK is a global leader in offshore wind and if people are not seriously considering investing here then I want to know why.”

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