In 2008, offshore wind projects in the UK were producing energy at roughly £170 per megawatt hour. With the passing of the Climate Change Act (2008), the government made a strong commitment to decarbonise the economy. It was clear offshore wind would play an important role, and that innovation would be key to driving cost reduction at scale to make it a competitive renewable energy generation source.
We realised there was an opportunity to play a vital role in accelerating innovation by leveraging our independence to bring offshore wind developers together to collectively address these challenges. In its first ten years the OWA has delivered over 150 research, development and deployment (RD&D) projects, in partnership with nine leading offshore wind developers.
Cost analysis shows that the innovations supported through the OWA in just a decade contributed to a 15% reduction in the cost of energy for an average offshore wind project, saving industry a total of £34bn against 2030 build out targets. The cost of energy from offshore wind has now dropped significantly below even the best-case industry predictions to under £50 per megawatt hour.
Collaborating to compete
The OWA model is unique with developers at the heart of the innovation agenda. It brings together our sector expertise with industrial partners' technical knowledge and resources. OWA projects are designed to engage with innovators and industry stakeholders, to support the best new ideas on their journey to market.
The OWA’s is structured around five research areas:
- Cable installation
- Electrical systems
- Vessel and access systems
- Wind resource and wake effects
Discretionary projects that fall outside these core areas are also undertaken with some or all of the OWA partners, and certain projects may also be open to non-OWA members. Core programme funding is provided by industry, with public funding sources being utilised on a project specific basis.
Ongoing tenders for projects under the Offshore Wind Accelerator will be posted on our tenders page.