by Jerome a Paris
Thu May 20th, 2010 at 05:00:23 AM EST
UK’s offshore renewable energy could match one billion barrels of oil, report shows
The UK’s offshore renewable energy sector could generate electricity equivalent of one billion barrels of oil annually, matching North Sea oil and gas production, according to a new report.
The research, published by the Offshore Valuation Group and welcomed by industry body RenewableUK, said the offshore renewable energy industry could ensure the UK becomes a net electricity exporter by using less than a third of the total available resource.
At the same level, it would result in cumulative carbon dioxide savings of 1.1 billion tonnes by 2050 and create 145,000 new jobs in the UK with additional tax revenues of £28bn.
What is most interesting here is that this is not just a grand claim by a dismissable NGO - the working group includes the UK government (and Scottish and Welsh authorities), the main power utilities in the country and a couple of large North Sea oil&gas companies, ie Serious People. I am hopeful that as more such reports get published, and the utilities put an ever growing chunk of their investment budgets into offshore wind, the industry will finally take its rightful seat at the table, and be taken seriously as a large scale part of the solution, and not just a greenwashing gadget.
Part of my series on Wind power
Full disclosure: I advise wind developers on their financing needs.