Scotland continues R&D investment to cut down costs for offshore wind
The Scottish Government announced a further £1.5m in the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) department mainly aiming to reduce costs in the offshore wind industry and explore further wind offshore opportunities for the country.
Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Minister of Energy said: “The decision to invest a further £1.5m in the OWA is a ringing endorsement of the great potential of this programme to help Scotland to utilise the full potential of offshore wind, and to ensure that we make it as affordable as possible”.
He added: “The Carbon Trust has done a fantastic job so far in reducing the costs of offshore wind, as well as encouraging collaboration across the public and private sectors to improve the industry as a whole”.
OWA conducts collaborative research bringing together nine of the largest offshore wind developers in Europe- DONG Energy, EnBW, E.ON, Iberdrola, innogy, SSE, Statkraft, Statoil and Vattenfall.
Jan Matthiesen, Director, of the Carbon Trust, said: “The Scottish Government’s £1.5m investment into the programme, alongside nine of the biggest developers in Europe, shows there is real confidence in the ability of the OWA to continue to deliver cost reductions. This continuing support and investment into the programme has helped to reduce the costs of offshore wind and helped to pave the way towards a subsidy free energy source”.
Lindsay Roberts, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables talked about the Scottish achievements in onshore and offshore wind power saying: “Scotland has huge amounts to gain from offshore wind and it’s an incredibly exciting time for the industry”.
“Our first major offshore wind farm – the Beatrice project in the Moray Firth – is being constructed right now, alongside Statoil’s world-leading floating wind development Hywind, and Vattenfall’s highly innovative European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre”.
Roberts revealed that there is “a number of other exciting schemes are getting ready to progress along our east coast” justifying the importance of the investment in Carbon Trust.
By the first half of 2017, Scotland had 9,309MW installed capacity of renewable electricity- mainly comprised of 6,767MW onshore wind, 187MW offshore wind, 1,632MW hydro, 328MW solar and 196MW plant biomass.
The country has set ambitious targets regarding renewable energy- namely, to meet 100 per cent of gross electricity needs from renewables by 2020 and to satisfy 50 per cent of total energy needs (including heat) with renewables by 2050.