The first full economic valuation of the UK’s offshore renewable resources has made some startling conclusions.
The Offshore Valuation states that using just one third of the UK’s wind, wave and tidal resources could unlock the electricity equivalent of 1bn barrels of oil a year, give CO2 reductions of 1.1bn tonnes by 2050 and create 145,000 new UK jobs.
The Offshore Valuation Group is an informal collaboration of government and industry organisations which tackled the question: what is the value of the UK’s offshore renewable energy resource?
The members of the OVG are DECC, the Scottish government, the Welsh Assembly, the Crown Estate, Energy Technologies Institute, SSE, E.ON, RWE Innogy, Mainstream Renewable Power, RES, Dong Energy, Statoil, Vestas & PIRC.
The group said that the next four decades of technological development could enable the UK to harness a practical resource ten times the size of today’s planned deployments. Integration with neighbouring electricity networks though a ‘super-grid’ could provide access to a single European electricity market, enabling the UK to sell renewable electricity across the continent.
The report concludes that fully utilising the country’s renewable energy could “unlock an energy flow that will never run out”.