It looks like you have JavaScript turned off

Pretty much everything should work. But you may find some components look slightly off as a result. You can find out what Javascript is here. If you don't have JavaScript turned off, or if something doesn't work that you think should do, please email

ETI recommends more emphasis on floating foundations to access the best Offshore Wind resources in the UK

18 January 2017

Andrew Scott
Andrew Scott Programme Manager - HDV Marine & Offshore Renewables

Our work has consistently shown that offshore wind can have a significant role in the UK’s energy mix. To date costs have come down significantly (approximately 50% over the last 10 years) but we believe they can come down further through the employment of new policy and technology levers.

Offshore Wind is not simply competing with other renewable sources but with other technologies generating low carbon electricity. From our work we see that there is a clear and credible trajectory to delivering subsidy free UK commercial offshore wind farms as part of the UK 2050 energy mix

When we started work in this area we modelled the role of offshore wind in a least-cost 2050 UK energy system to meet the country’s climate change targets. Then it was seen as a hedging option to fill the gap if other technologies did not progress. But during the last decade we have seen its role change. It is now a core component of a least cost balanced 2050 energy system that delivers a low carbon transition alongside new nuclear, carbon capture and storage, bioenergy, gas and offshore renewables (predominantly wind) alongside efficiencies in the heating of buildings and transport fleets, both heavy duty and light vehicles.

If industry can find routes to more repeatable manufacture of bigger turbine blades – such as in “kit form” close to site – it could lead to even further cost reductions as well as opening up export market opportunities. But there is also a continued need for the sector to learn by doing. The industry needs to increase its practical experience through even further deployment, development and demonstration of new technologies and learn from this to contain operational costs.

We have identified that the consenting and approval process should be streamlined as this can have a negative impact on developers wanting to build larger offshore wind farms. And our work shows that the advancement of floating technology also looks like it matters because it opens up more of the sea bed and we recommend that more emphasis should be placed on floating turbine development as they should be more economic for high wind, deep water sites – the best locations to exploit UK resources.