BWEA welcomed Chancellor Alistair Darling's Pre-Budget Report commitment to maintain support for offshore wind at 2 Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) per megawatt hour (MWh) to 2014. The UK is the world leader in offshore wind with more projects installed, in planning and in construction than any other country in the world. By 2020 at least 20,000MW of offshore wind is expected to be installed and operating in UK waters.
Maria McCaffery MBE, BWEA Chief Executive said: "Keeping the 2 ROCs funding for offshore wind will help the UK retain its world lead and kickstart billions of pounds of investment ahead of the next major phase of offshore developments."
Support for offshore wind was increased from 1.5 to 2 ROCs in the 2009 Budget in April this year, for all projects that reach financial close in the 2009 to 2010 financial year. This had an immediate positive effect, with a number of offshore wind projects coming forward in the first half of 2009. Todays announcement will extend 2 ROCs for all projects accredited by 2014. The industry also welcomed an additional £50 million investment for the funding of new UK offshore wind manufacturing and testing facilities, and reiterated that, with the right policy support, the wind sector could deliver 60 000 jobs and 30% of our electricity by 2020
McCaffery said: "There are up to 3000MW worth of projects which should now benefit from this new support - in the current economic climate this will make a vital contribution to inward investment and employment, as well as delivering on the 2020 targets."
In UK waters there are currently 228 offshore wind turbines with an installed capacity of 688MW, with a further 1407 in construction and approved, totaling 4598MW. It is estimated that each MW of offshore wind could power around 640 homes.