Up to £10 million is to be made available to develop the next generation of offshore wind technology, according to Energy and Climate Change Minister Mike O'Brien.
From April offshore wind will get 50% extra financial support through the UK Government's Renewable Obligation (RO) scheme. This is as a result of 'banding' the RO, which means rather than a flat rate of support across all renewable technology, emerging technologies that are further from commercial deployment could receive greater levels of support to encourage their development.
The Low Carbon Energy Demonstration Fund, part of the Environmental Transformation Fund, is aimed at accelerating the technology needed to see more large-scale multi-megawatt turbines in offshore windfarms. The £10 million of funding could be allocated to businesses in June.
The investment also includes changing the planning laws, increased financial support and sufficient access to the grid.
Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive of British Wind Energy Association, says: “This is an important signal from Government on the continuing commitment to offshore wind and emerging offshore technologies.”