Shed costs to develop wind: SeaEnergy

GREAT BRITAIN - Offshore wind farm construction costs in Britain need to drop by around 30 percent over the next decade if the sector is to develop and help the country meet its green energy targets, a British offshore wind farm developer said.

"If the industry doesn't take off, how else are we going to supply our energy? We don't have the choice, we have to put more renewable energy capacity in place," said Allan MacAskill, business development director for SeaEnergy Renewables, which has permits for developing offshore wind farms in British waters.

He said collaboration among developers was crucial to lower costs, which was especially important for turbines, the substructures holding the wind farms in place and installation of the projects.

He compared the nascent industry to early lessons learned in the oil and gas drilling sector, where drilling the first well of a program took 45 days, while the final project took only eight days, bringing down costs.

"I think you make that very rapid change quite quickly, the learning curve declines toward the end," he told Reuters at a London conference.

International wind energy players such as German engineering firm Siemens, Spain's Gamesa and Danish manufacturer Vestas in January announced plans to build manufacturing and research facilities in the UK.

Britain has awarded licenses to construct up to 40 gigawatts GW of offshore wind capacity off its coasts.

At the start of the year, Britain was the world leader in installed offshore wind capacity with 1,341 megawatts MW in operation, according to the European Wind Energy Association.


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