New funding from nine offshore wind developers aims to boost cost-cutting wind energy innovations

Statoil and E.ON are among a host of leading European offshore wind developers to have joined forces with the Carbon Trust to fund efforts to slash the cost of offshore wind.

The group of nine firms, which also includes DONG Energy, SSE Renewables and Vattenfall, has today pledged to invest at least £6.4m in the new European phase of Carbon Trust’s collaborative Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) programme.

The funding, which will be delivered over the next four years, adds to the £1.5m secured from the Scottish Government last month in support of the first year of the project.

First set up in 2008, the OWA provides a mechanism for the public and private sector to work together through industry-led collaborative research, development and deployment.

EnBW, RWE Innogy, ScottishPower Renewables and Statkraft are also involved in the project.

The initiative aims to bring innovations to market to ensure the typical cost of offshore wind is below £100 per MWh by 2020, the government’s official target for the industry.

“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,” said Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, in a statement. “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 project comes a week after DONG Energy announced it was set to smash the cost record for an offshore wind project with two new wind farms off the Dutch coast that are expected to deliver power at an average cost of €72.70/MWh.

The industry is increasingly confident it can meet the £100/MWh target thanks to a combination of technological improvements, economies of scale, and more effective project management and maintenance services.

Via Business Green. View full article here.