Grants for offshore wind farms survive Osborne's axe

Climate Change Secretary to announce £10 m new package of grants for offshore wind farm suppliers

Online PR News – 08-July-2010 – – Offshore wind appears to be the industry is celebrating today after it emerged that energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne will announce grants worth £10m, to eight firms focused on the delivery of offshore wind technologies.

Despite the multiple cuts done by the coalition, it appears that renewable is one of the sections of the low-carbon economy that can still expect to benefit from government largesse, just so long as they promise to deliver rapid and sizable economic benefits in return.

Huhne is expected to confirm the funding in a speech at the launch of the International Energy Agency's “Energy Technology Perspectives” report, where he will also argue that the offshore wind sector should be spared the worst of the government's austerity measures.

He said that it's important that we support UK supply chain companies, even in these tough economic times, with grants to help them develop technologies to fit the emerging market. He held that the investments in offshore wind farms can help our own businesses reap the benefits of renewable energy and help lower costs to consumers.

The German engineering company Siemens will be the beneficiary of a £5m award part of the new package of grants awarded by the government. It will be used to support its plans to develop offshore wind farms including a next-generation 6MW offshore turbine with an integrated foundation design in the UK.

The remaining £5m will be shared between seven UK firms specialising in the development of components for offshore wind farms. Among them, the largest grant will see £2m awarded to Hartlepool-based JDR Cable Systems, which is working on the development of high-voltage cables underwater, capable of transmitting energy from offshore wind farms to the main grid.

The funding would help support an £11m project that is expected to address one of the major barriers to the development of offshore wind farms; the export cables. They will weigh up to 4,000 tonnes and have been identified as a bottleneck in the supply chain. With this investment they will be manufactured at JDR's deepwater quayside factory in Hartlepool and. JDR will become the only UK manufacturer of this vital connection.