UK offshore wind energy given grants to help lower costs

24 March 2014 (Last Updated March 24th, 2014 18:30)

The UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced that four businesses will share more than £4m (€4.8m) in grants to support R&D into offshore wind power.

DECC

The UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced that four businesses will share more than £4m (€4.8m) in grants to support R&D into offshore wind power.

The grants have been awarded as part of the DECC's innovation competition to support development of offshore wind power.

DECC minister Greg Barker said that 2-B Energy, High Voltage Partial Discharge, SgurrControl and Ocean Resource have been awarded the grants to steam-line the design and installation of offshore wind turbines, which could lead to significant reductions in the cost of offshore wind.

"The UK is already the world leader in offshore wind - with more deployed than any other country," Barker said.

"The benefits that offshore wind can bring are clear - from enhancing our energy security, reducing our dependence on imports and helping reduce our carbon emissions."

Barker added, "Innovation is critical to cutting the cost of this low-carbon power source, which could in turn, lead to lower bills for hardworking consumers. I wish the winners every success with their projects."

The funding would help in gaining substantial amounts of private sector investment for each successful offshore wind technology and to enable them for commercial deployment.

Around £2.8m (€3.3m) was awarded to 2-B Energy, which is working on an innovative two blade turbine design that could reduce costs by as much as 35%. The company is planning to trial the new design onshore in the Netherlands.

"The UK is already the world leader in offshore wind - with more deployed than any other country."

Later, the technology will be tested at an offshore version site off the Scottish coast at Fife.

High Voltage Partial Discharge has been awarded £900,370 (€1m) to develop and trial a new type of monitoring technology that will provide early warning of faults in HVDC cables.

SgurrControl has been granted £667,000 (€0.8m) to assist in developing a system that decreases stress on turbine blades.

SgurrControl will lead the project in collaboration with Romax Technology Ltd and Blaaster Wind Technologies AS.

South Wales-based Ocean Resource has been given £216,442 (€257,993) for developing an offshore wind turbine that is assembled and commissioned on-shore and towed fully assembled for site installation using tugs.


Image: UK awards €4.8m R&D funds for offshore wind. Photo: courtesy of Department of Energy & Climate Change.

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