United Kingdom

United Kingdom

UK and US to cooperate on floating turbine technology

UK: UK energy minister Ed Davey and US energy secretary Stephen Chu are set to make an agreement on the joint development of floating wind turbine platforms.

Statoil's Hywind floating platform uses a Siemens turbine
Statoil's Hywind floating platform uses a Siemens turbine

The announcement precedes this week's 'Clean Energy Ministerial' in London, which will be attended by 23 energy ministers from around the world.

In a statement the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change said funding would be made available from both the US and UK.

With 33GW of offshore wind projects planned for its Round 3 programme and a large area of near-shore available for development, there is a question of whether the UK needs a floating concept.

Japan, which is currently moving ahead with a floating programme, has no choice as a large proportion of its coast is too deep for conventional foundations.

Speaking about the move, Davey said: "Floating wind turbines will allow us to exploit more of the our wind resource, potentially more cheaply.

"Turbines will be able to locate in ever deeper waters where the wind is stronger but without the expense of foundations down to the seabed or having to undertake major repairs out at sea."

Currently, neither the US or UK have any floating projects. However, Norwegian state oil company Statoil has submitted a request for a commercial lease to build a wind farm off Maine using its floating wind-turbine technology. It is also set to build a project off the Scottish coast.

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