Offshore wind “held back” by lack of testing sites

Offshore wind power is being held back by a lack of testing sites, the Carbon Trust has warned. The low carbon and energy saving advisers suggest the UK needs a […]

Register now!

By Vicky Ellis

Offshore wind power is being held back by a lack of testing sites, the Carbon Trust has warned.

The low carbon and energy saving advisers suggest the UK needs a “dramatic” increase in the number of testing sites so “innovation” in technology can help cut costs.

The comments came a day before Energy Secretary Ed Davey talked up Britain’s role in the growing sector at an offshore wind conference today, saying he was a big supporter of wind, emphasising why it “deserved” subsidies.

Phil de Villiers, Head of Offshore Wind at the Carbon Trust said: “The mass roll out of new innovative technology won’t happen on its own. This is currently being held back by a lack of demonstration sites where radical new innovation to reduce costs can be tested and proven over a two year period.”

He spoke in response to the latest report from DECC’s offshore wind task force yesterday, which stated the cost of offshore wind could be slashed by a third in less than a decade.

Mr de Villiers said: “A dramatic increase in the number of demonstration sites available for the industry to test the latest turbine and foundation designs is urgently required.”

Without these, he suggested the cost savings hoped for by the Government could be missed for many new projects.

He added: “Without these sites the full range of cost reduction opportunities for offshore wind could be lost for a large number of Round Three projects.”