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Boost for offshore wind as Scottish government announces £2.2m fund



The Scottish government has announced they will be awarding the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) programme £2.2 million, to help make clean energy developments cheaper.

The OWA programme is run by the Carbon Trust and brings together nine offshore wind developers. The programme is a joint industry and government scheme, and the nine developers have over 72% of the UK’s licensed capacity.

The aim of the project is to reduce cost of offshore wind by 10% by 2015 through innovation, research and development.

Scotland is leading the way in renewable development with renewable energy capacity in Scotland showing steady growth since 2007. The government’s target is to generate the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has predicted major increases in offshore wind in the next decade.

Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond said, “Renewable energy is extremely valuable to Scotland’s economy, to reducing our carbon emissions and in providing low carbon energy supplies as well as jobs and long term investment.

“It also helps keep the lights on across these islands at a time when Ofgem is warning of a tightening gap between electricity supply and demand south of the border.

“Scotland is home to around a quarter of Europe’s offshore wind resource and we are keen to support its development as part of our energy mix. Our support for the Offshore Wind Accelerator further highlights Scotland’s position as a global leader in renewables development.”

The OWA will receive £200,000 in 2014/15 and £2 million in 2015/16.

It will share knowledge on the most efficient and cost-effective ways to install wind farms and talk to other international companies to address challenges faced in offshore development.

“We are delighted to be working with the Scottish Government to drive further cost reductions in the offshore wind industry. The sector has huge potential to generate low carbon power and create economic value.

“Key to that success will be driving costs down through innovation and doing this quickly. The OWA and this new injection of funding will be key to help meet this cost reduction challenge”, said Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust.

The Carbon Trust is an independent company that aims to help organisations and governments move towards a sustainable, low carbon economy.

Photo: Kim Hansen via Flickr

Further reading:

Scotland’s renewable energy success continues with new community hydroelectricity plant

‘World’s largest tidal power project’ given green light in Scotland

Scottish renewable target ‘realistic’ with adequate private investment

Half of Scotland could be powered by the tides, say researchers

Scotland on track for 2020 renewables target


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