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Offshore Wind TINA for the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG)

Offshore Wind turbines

Background

Offshore wind is one of the most important low carbon technologies for the UK, with the potential to play a major role in both meeting our carbon targets and enhancing our energy security. Offshore wind can be rapidly deployed at scale with fewer planning constraints than onshore wind, has a quicker development time than nuclear power and, unlike carbon capture and storage (CCS), has already been proven at scale. However, offshore wind power is currently a relatively high cost source of energy. How much and how quickly it is deployed will depend on how successful innovation is in reducing costs.

Approach

The Carbon Trust has carried out one of the most detailed investigations on off-shore wind ever undertaken in the UK to help DECC and other members of the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group further understand this technology's potential and what should be done to realise it. 

We applied the groundbreaking Technology Innovation Needs Assessment (TINA) analytical framework we have developed to offshore wind - incorporating knowledge across Government and its delivery bodies, numerous experts from industry and academia.

Results

Our analysis identified that:

  • Offshore wind could deliver c.20-50% of total UK electricity generation.
  • Achieving this will primarily depend on reducing costs - innovation has the potential to drive down costs by 25% by 2020 and 60% by 2050 which would in turn save the UK in the range of £18-89bn to 2050.
  • The UK has the potential to become one of the leaders in a global offshore wind market, which could contribute £7-35bn to UK GDP up to 2050.
  • Significant private sector investment in innovation in needed to unlock these opportunities, catalysed by public sector support where there are market failures.

The Offshore wind TINA has already started to guide public sector innovation support, including DECC and TSB's £15m Offshore Wind Component Technologies Development and Demonstration scheme, and will continue to feed into future decisions.

The TINA findings will be used to underpin the design and focus of DECC's and other LCICG's members' programmes and activities in these technology areas.

The Offshore wind TINA summary report can be found on our  Technology Innovation Needs Assessment (TINA) reports page.

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