The UK Government yesterday announced plans to invest in an offshore renewable energy technology and innovation centre to help businesses commercialise wind, wave and tidal power.
Business Secretary Vince Cable launched the competition to create the new centre, which is part of the Government’s commitment to plough over £200 million into an ‘elite network’ of six technology and innovation centres over the next four years.
“The UK is a world leader in offshore engineering and our reputation makes us an excellent location for research in this area,” said Cable. “There is a clear opportunity for the Government to support the UK’s offshore industry and this centre will be of great benefit to the sector and the economy.”
The Government-backed Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is managing the establishment of the new innovation centres, which will add to those planned in high value manufacturing and cell therapy.
The TSB has plans for a further three innovation centres, which will be selected from ten areas including resource efficiency, smart grids and distribution, transport systems and future cities.
UK trade association RenewableUK has warmly welcomed the new centre, which will focus on offshore wind, wave and tidal power.
“This is a clear indication that the Government has recognised the importance of supporting wind and marine energy. Investment in ambitious R&D projects like this is a key part of the package of measures needed to attract companies from around the world to the UK,” says director of policy, Gordon Edge.
Organisations that want to participate in the new innovation centre or work with it should contact the TSB now.
Cable also announced yesterday the investment of £20 million in two clean technology funds, Zouk Cleantech 2 and HG Capital Renewable Power Partners 2.
The investment is part of the £325 million UK Innovation Investment Fund (UKIIF), which supports businesses working on energy efficiency, water treatment and conservation, alternative energy generation and renewable energy infrastructure.
“This funding provides the support to allow private sector industries to grow and for them to become more energy efficient,” commented Cable.
For further information:
UK project to develop giant 90 m blades for offshore wind turbines (17-May)
UK shipyard owner to partner with wave energy developers (4-May)
Marine energy could net UK economy £76 billion by 2050 (3-May)
Offshore wind could be worth £170 billion a year to UK economy (8-Apr)
27 May 2011