Over forty organisations including manufacturers, developers, supply chain firms and research institutions are joining forces to exploit the “extraordinary” economic and investment opportunities offered by wind power in Europe’s northern seas.
Over 40 GW of offshore wind capacity could be deployed in the region by 2020, according to the Norstec network, which was first announced by UK Prime Minister David Cameron in April this year and is holding its first meeting in London today.
In the longer term, wind power resources in the most economically accessible sites could be larger than all of Europe’s current oil and gas production put together.
The network members plan to set out a their vision for the opportunities and benefits of offshore wind and commit to sharing information to ensure that the full potential is realised.
The 44 signatories to the network include Alstom, Areva, Balfour Beatty, The Crown Estate, DONG Energy, E.ON, Gamesa, Narec, National Grid, Repower, Repsol, Scottish Power, Siemens, SSE, Statkraft, Statoil, Tata Steel, Vattenfall and Vestas.
Cameron used the meeting to restate his commitment to offshore renewables, a position which has been called into question in recent months.
“I continue to be strongly supportive of the UK offshore renewables sector and am delighted to see Norstec rising from the waves,” he said. “We are on the cusp of a second, clean energy revolution in the North Sea [and] close collaboration between industry and government will be critical to making this happen.”
Energy Secretary Ed Davey echoed the comments, adding that the offshore wind industry represents a “massive” growth opportunity for the UK and other nations on the northern seas, bringing much needed jobs and economic revitialisation.
“Norstec will help the offshore wind industry in the northern seas to grow and create a new industrial revolution, driving economic growth across this part of Europe,” he said.
For further information:
Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm takes UK capacity to 2.5 GW (1-Oct)
Wind drives energy link between Ireland and Britain (25-Sept)
UK’s onshore wind capacity hits 5 GW milestone (24-Sept)
UK wind power sets new record high of 4 GW (14-Sept)
04 October 2012