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Scotland “catapult” to focus on cutting UK offshore wind costs

Fund aims to reduce the cost of offshore wind to GBP 100/MWh by 2020

UK offshore wind currently costs GBP 191/MWh
UK offshore wind currently costs GBP 191/MWh

A UK government GBP 50m fund set up to push forward advances in offshore wind and marine power is to focus its efforts on cutting the cost of offshore wind to GBP 100/MWh by 2020. This is down from the current figure of GBP 191/MWh.

Known as the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the fund’s primary focus is on bridging the gap between university research and full commercialisation in offshore wind, wave and tidal power technologies. It will also showcase UK technologies for export abroad.

By the summer of 2012, the Catapult will establish a research headquarters at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, with an operational centre at the UK’s offshore wind development centre Narec.

The Technology Strategy Board, the government body managing the fund, said that details of exact cost reduction technologies to be investigated had not yet been finalised.

Dr Garry Staunton, energy adviser at the board, said: “We are investigating a number of areas where the UK could become world-leading pioneers. The Catapult centre will focus its efforts on the areas where there are prospects to build on existing strengths and capabilities and hence capture opportunities for UK business.”