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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

30% cut in UK offshore costs by 2020 'achievable'

UNITED KINGDOM: Reducing the cost of offshore wind energy in the UK to £100 per megawatt hour could be achieved within seven years with the right actions from the industry, according to two major reports.

Future progress in the UK's offshore sector will rely on industry-wide cuts
Future progress in the UK's offshore sector will rely on industry-wide cuts

Studies by the Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force, set up by the UK government, and the Crown Estate both conclude that the costs of offshore wind energy could be driven down by almost 30% by 2020, making it competitive with established forms of energy generation.

The UK is targeting 18GW of offshore wind energy by 2020, and the cut in costs envisaged in the two reports from the current £140/MWh to £100/MWh would save over £3 billion annually.

The task force report sets out 28 separate actions required by industry and government to achieve the cuts.

These cover areas including supply chain, planning and consenting, finance and grid infrastructure.

A programme board is to be established to improve collaboration between industry and government.

Andrew Jamieson, chair of the task force and policy director at ScottishPower Renewables, said: "To ensure that the UK's world-leading offshore wind sector expands rapidly over this decade and fulfils its massive potential, it is vital that costs are reduced.

"In doing this not only will we reduce risk and drive investment into the sector, we will further protect consumers from increasing energy costs, reduce the industry's requirement for financial support and deliver jobs and energy security for decades to come."

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