Two competitions have been launched by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in order to stimulate money-saving wind technology development. Potential applicants are encouraged to attend a briefing event on 13 November 2012 before submitting an application.
“This cash will help innovators across the UK develop a range of new ideas to cut costs and make offshore wind turbines more efficient to run” said Energy and Climate Change Greg Barker. “This new investment follows two successful rounds of our offshore wind innovation scheme and I would encourage companies who haven’t yet taken advantage of this funding to get on board.”
Offshore wind has the potential to reduce the UK’s reliance on imported fossil fuels, helping cut carbon and meet the UK’s renewables targets. But innovation is key to improving efficiency and cutting costs but further investment is needed in this area.
Up to £7million is available under the third round of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Technology Strategy Board’s (TSB) component technologies development and demonstration scheme. DECC and TSB expect to help fund between 5 and 10 projects, depending on the volume and quality of the applications received and the deadline for applications to DECC is noon on 16 January 2013.
Previous winners under the first round include Yorkshire based company David Brown Gear Systems Ltd, which was awarded £1.2million to help develop its 7MW offshore wind turbine gearbox, and Gravitas Offshore Ltd, based in Maidenhead, which received over £500,000 to help develop and demonstrate its concrete gravity foundation for large offshore wind turbines. Winners of the second round will be announced soon.
Interested organisations can also apply for a share of £3million for the development of technical feasibility studies in the offshore wind innovation arena. This funding can be used to explore new ideas currently in the early stages of research and applications are encouraged from a range of sectors including those such as aerospace and oil and gas where the adaptation of existing technologies for the offshore wind sector could help cut costs in the future.
“Through this funding we want to encourage the development of technologies that will reduce the cost of energy from offshore wind farms, while ensuring that companies in the UK supply chain increase their share of the market” said Iain Gray, the Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board. “We’d particularly welcome ideas from companies in parallel sectors – such as oil and gas, aerospace and manufacturing – who may wish to expand into the offshore wind sector.”