The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Offshore Wind, the Way Forward

Jul 15, 2010

The courage shown by the new UK coalition government in looking hard economic times square in the eye and taking on the austerity measures needed is winning praise around the world and across the political spectrum.

For the energy sector, this comes as no surprise. The British have long demonstrated these paired traits of realism and the determination to act. They met the opportunity of North Sea oil with traditional British sea-going dynamism. As those oil supplies began to peak, they began making nuclear plans. As the danger and unaffordability of nuclear power became undeniable, courageous British leaders once again chose to go down to the sea, to develop the UK's immense offshore wind and ocean wave and tidal energies.

In response to initial commitments from the UK government to fund British offshore wind infrastructure expansion, some of the biggest turbine manufacturers in the world (Siemens, Clipper, Mitsubishi, GE) have commited to a presence. At the end of 2009, the UK had almost 900 megawatts of installed offshore capacity.

UK Offshore Wind: Building an Industry; Analysis and scenarios for industrial development is a detailed report on what Britain needs to unhesitatingly but methodically advance its offshore industries and bring more major private sector investment into the country. It provides specifics on siting factories and preparing ports, how much that will cost and what the economic benefits will be from the investment.

The core insight offered in the study is that an industry's way forward can be successful or fail according to the infrastructure planning and preparation that preceeds expansion. ::continue::

click to enlarge

The study calls on the coalition government to commit the 60 million pounds set aside to prepare port infrastructure and take the lead in building new manufacturing capacity to prepare the nation not only to build its own New Energy capacity but to take a dominant role in the EU market as well. The report concludes that methodical, effective investment will lead to a stable offshore wind industry that will create 45,000 new British manufacturing jobs. It predicts that either (a) allowing offshore wind to grow too fast or (b) failing to plan and invest will result in the same “missed opportunity.”

Meanwhile, the Obama administration – which took office promising to facilitate the development of U.S. ocean energy assets – is now bogged down in the complexities created by BP’s misrepresentations and the clamor for stronger offshore regulatory protections. The best it has managed in streamlining the 7-to-10 year siting and permitting challenges to ocean energy development are announcements of memoranda of understanding (MOUs) between the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Department of Energy (DOE) and between DOI, DOE and the Army Corps of Engineers.

In other words, while the UK is working out the details of turning its ocean energy potential into industrial power, the U.S. is working on getting government agencies to communicate more effectively.

Talk about a missed opportunity…

click to enlarge

Report states how to build a UK offshore wind powerhouse 29 June 2010 (RenewableUK)

Click thru for more on this and more NewEnergyNews

The information and views expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author and not necessarily those of or the companies that advertise on this Web site and other publications. This blog was posted directly by the author and was not reviewed for accuracy, spelling or grammar.


Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:



Doing Business in Europe – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

There is now 128.8 GW of installed wind energy capacity in the EU (appro...

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

Distributed Wind Energy Workshop

Description: Distributed wind energy is electricity that is produced for...


Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Koch Professor drops his Koch title, still makes same errors plus s...

The Koch Professor’s title isn’t the only thing that’s...

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is proud of its members for ...


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now