Offshore wind development is vital for UK to meet its EU 2020 targets

The development of offshore wind and linked infrastructure is vital to the UK meeting its EU 2020 renewable energy targets, the country’s Department of Energy and Climate Change said in a 2009 Renewable Energy Strategy report handed to the European Commission late Monday.

Up to 33 GW of offshore renewable generation may be developed and mos of this would be connected to the onshore electricity grid through offshortransmission cables costing around GBP15 billion ($22.8 billion), DECC said.

“Offshore wind is a key area for development. We will work to develop a offshore electricity grid. This new generation of offshore wind power will play a key role in meeting our 2020 target,” DECC said.

The report also sees a major role for marine energy as part of its renewable energy strategy. In the DECC preferred scenario a national target of 15% of domestically-produced energy from renewables will be met in the following sectors: 30% of electricity demand; 12% of heat demand and 10% of transport demand by 2020.

In this scenario, expected total adjusted energy consumption in 2020 would be 136,700 thousands of tons of oil equivalent (ktoe) and the expected amount of energy from renewable sources corresponding to the 2020 target would be 20,505 ktoe. Developing emerging technologies is one of three key areas DECC is focusing on to meet targets.


It also wants to improve grid efficiency through smart meters and smart appliances in homes, have greater renewable and distributed generation, a robust financial support for renewables including feed-in tariffs for electricity and heat, and further work on renewable obligation certificates.

Upgrading the electricity grid to reduce transmission losses, support harvesting electricity generated by renewable energy technologies both on and offshore, and longer-term goals for a sub-sea grid to transfer power produced in waters around Scotland to other parts of the UK and Europe is a core part of the UK’s strategy.

The UK also aims to create a Green Investment Bank to help start-up funding of renewables.

The UK is one of only four countries, including The Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden to have filed its national renewable energy plan to the EC. The filing deadline of June 30 was only met by The Netherlands and Denmark. Belgium is expected to present its plan soon.

The plans provide detailed outlines of how each country will meet legally binding 2020 targets for the share of renewable energy in their final energy consumption such as sectoral targets, the technology mix, the planned trajectory and the measures and reforms they will undertake.

The 2009 Renewable Energy Directive sets a target for the UK to get 15% of its final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. This compares to only 1.5% in 2005.

Jane Morecroft


Source: platts, July 06, 2010;