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Wind Power

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 24 June, Official Report, columns 60-62WS, on the Offshore Energy Strategic Environmental Assessment, what estimate he has made of the number of offshore wind turbines that will be constructed in each year until 2020. (289615)

The actual number and rate of offshore turbines deployed each year will depend on choices made by the market relating to the timing and location specifics of construction for individual projects, as well as the size and type of turbines chosen.

On the basis of the Government's plan for some 25GW by 2020 referred to in the ministerial statement of 24 June, we might expect to see between 5,000-7,000 turbines constructed over the period to 2020. Along with existing plans for some 8GW of offshore wind generation already at various stages of planning, the total number of turbines deployed offshore could be around 10,000 turbines by 2020. Advances in technology may mean that in future there could be fewer, but larger, turbines deployed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions his Department has had with industry representatives on the temporary increase of support for offshore wind through the Renewables Obligation. (289724)

DECC officials and Ministers have regular discussions and meetings with the offshore wind industry, both individually and collectively, concerning the deployment of offshore wind. These can cover generic issues or can be in relation to specific projects’ particular concerns around for example planning, and grid access. Recent meetings with industry representatives have involved discussions about whether there is a need for an increase in support for offshore wind through the Renewables Obligation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the evidential basis is for the proposed criteria for selecting offshore wind projects to receive temporary increases in support under the Renewables Obligation. (289725)

The evidential basis for launching a review of the level of support for offshore wind under the Renewables Obligation is the report “Cost of and financial support for offshore wind”, produced for DECC by Ernst and Young, and available at

http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file51142.pdf

The proposed criteria for determining eligibility for any increase in support are subject to consultation, and we have welcomed views and further evidence as part of the consultation process which closes on 15 October.