RWE exits 905MW offshore commitment

UK: RWE npower is pulling out of its partnership with SeaEnergy Renewables (SERL) to develop Scotland's 905MW Inch Cape offshore wind farm as it needs to rationalise its renewables committments.

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SeaEnergy said it is currently working with The Crown Estate to ensure the wind development continues. The result could see SERL increasing its share in the project.

The Inch Cape site is located 15.5km off northeast of Scotland. SeaEnergy owns a 25 percent equity stake in the project.

RWE's decision follows news that Scotland's tidal waters could provide 57GW of wind energy by 2050, according to a study into the UK's offshore renewable resources.

The Offshore Valuation Study explores scenarios to develop the UK's offshore resources (wind, wave and tidal) to maturity in order to assess the long-term value from electricity exports, technology exports and employment.

Key findings of the report:

  • Scotland's total practical offshore resource is estimated at 206GW.
  • By harnessing around a third of that resource, installed offshore renewables capacity could reach 68GW in Scotland by 2050. This compares to Scotland's current installed renewable capacity of 3.7GW and could generate many times annual domestic demand.
  • Of the 68GW capacity by 2050, 46 GW could come from fixed wind, 11GW from floating wind, 4 GW from wave energy, 5 GW from tidal stream and 2GW from tidal range.
  • The net value of Scotland's 68 GW of offshore resource in terms of electricity sales is estimated at £14 billion by 2050. Equivalent to £2,700 per person, this is significantly higher than in England (£400 per person) or in Wales (£1,000 per person).

Speaking about the report, Scottish Energy minister Jim Mather said: "We have long known the huge scale of the low carbon opportunities in our seas. This independently produced report now validates our energy policy that favours our comparative advantage and further strengthens our view that Scotland should have better grid connections to continental Europe.

"The report is an extremely useful contribution to quantifying the possible scale of the emerging green energy industry. It finds that offshore wind, wave and tidal energy have the potential to meet our electricity needs seven times over, creating a vast export surplus while making a significant contribution to meeting domestic and European renewable energy targets."






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