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UK announces plans to plug offshore wind into electricity grid

Mar 24, 2009 - Newnet

Plans to connect vast amounts of future UK offshore wind energy to the national grid were firmed up, with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Ofgem announcing a new regulatory framework to connect offshore renewable projects to the onshore grid.

The new regime could help connect enough wind-generated electricity to power the equivalent of more than 10 million homes by 2020, according to a statement.
Tenders for the new regime are due to be launched in the summer.

The UK will need to generate as much as 30-40 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, with offshore wind expected to make a significant contribution, with 8GW already planned and potentially up to a further 25GW.
Energy and Climate Change Minister, Mike O’Brien, said, ‘This is a key building block in delivering the offshore grid we will need by 2020. The UK already leads the world in offshore wind and with Government assessing the potential for much more, we need a grid which can be built and run in the most cost effective way.

‘Wind power could potentially make the single biggest contribution to our 2020 renewable energy target. It is vital we maximise the UK’s natural resources to help in the fight against climate change and reduce our reliance on volatile foreign oil and gas markets,’ he added.

Alistair Buchanan, Ofgem chief executive, said, ‘The infrastructure needed to connect new offshore renewables has never before been constructed on this scale. Opening this up to competitive tender ensures it can be delivered more quickly and cost-effectively. This is a huge opportunity - for new entrants and companies already active in the GB market - to invest in these assets under a long-term and low-risk regulatory regime.’

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