Scotland Bankrolls Offshore Wind Accelerator Programme

Image source: The Carbon Trust

The Scottish Government has invested a further GBP 1.5 million in the Carbon Trust’s collaborative research, development and demonstration (RD&D) programme – the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA).

In July 2016, the Carbon Trust revealed details of its new European phase of its OWA. This was enhanced by an initial GBP 1.5 million of funding from the Scottish Government for the first year. The new announcement markets a renewed investment for a second year to continue to support further the progress of offshore wind energy in Scotland.

“The Scottish Government’s decision to invest a further £1.5 million into the OWA is a ringing endorsement of the great potential of this programme to help Scotland to utilise the full potential of offshore wind, and to ensure that we make it as affordable as possible,” Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said.

“The Carbon Trust have done a fantastic job so far in reducing the costs of offshore wind, as well as encouraging collaboration across the public and private sectors to improve the industry as a whole. The potential benefits of offshore wind energy in Scotland are enormous, which is why the Scottish Government is committed to its development. By continuing to invest in it, not only are we stimulating economic change for the better, but we’re also helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland and helping to fight the impacts of climate change.”

Set up in 2008, the OWA programme has been behind a range of innovations in the offshore wind sector such as; developing and demonstrating new foundations; the development and adoption of 66kV cabling; setting new design standards for monopiles, driving industry acceptance of floating LiDARs (light detection and ranging) technology and new innovative access vessels and installation methods.

Over the past 9 years, the OWA programme has delivered nearly 150 projects, ranging from feasibility studies to multi-million pound, full-scale technology demonstrations. The projects undertaken by the OWA programme are selected to impact the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) by improving performance in offshore wind farm design, construction and operation.

The programme brings together nine of the largest offshore wind developers in Europe; DONG Energy, EnBW, E.ON, Iberdrola, innogy, SSE, Statkraft, Statoil and Vattenfall.

Jan Matthiesen, Director, the Carbon Trust, said: “The Scottish Government’s £1.5 million investment into the programme, alongside nine of the biggest developers in Europe, shows there is real confidence in the ability of the OWA to continue to deliver cost reductions. This continuing support and investment into the programme has helped to reduce the costs of offshore wind and helped to pave the way towards a subsidy free energy source.”

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