No alternative to offshore wind

In the wake of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report, RenewableUK warned against reducing the nation’s 2020 target for offshore wind. The report recommends that “if a set of alternative options can be found to meet the EU renewable energy target, then offshore wind ambition in 2020 could be moderated.”

RenewableUK maintains that offshore wind is the technology most likely to deliver in the time frame and on the scale required, while providing a high degree of cost certainty.

Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, said: “The report is welcome in as much as it recommends increasing the share of renewable energy to 40% by 2030. However, we are not going to get there if we do not stand four-square behind offshore wind in the run up to 2020. An unambitious target could scare off investors just when they have pledged so much commitment in establishing UK factories. This in turn could stymie delivery of targets and prevent the creation of up to 50,000 jobs in offshore wind over the next decade.”

While the industry has been reassured by the CCC’s confidence that 2020 targets are achievable, it has called for a realistic assessment of costs and constraints, and a level playing field for all forms of technologies. It has also reminded that a host of studies has predicted a fall in the cost of delivery for offshore wind, while some of the current costs of delivering nuclear remain optimistic.

“The current 2020 target for offshore wind is already below what the industry can deliver. Back-tracking on the target even further makes no sense: the UK’s world leading offshore sector needs confidence, not doubt and prevarication. We are looking forward to the Government’s response to this report in the delivery roadmap next month, which we anticipate to be much more ambitious”, concluded McCaffery.

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