An Economic valuation of Britain’s offshore renewable resource.

May 25th, 2010 by Richard Lord

A large wave breaks by Herpin Rock off Guernsey's south-west coast ©RLLord

The Offshore Valuation Group is an informal collaboration of government and industry organisations that have produced a report on the value of Britain’s offshore renewable energy resources.  However the Channel Islands are not included in the report.

The group includes The UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change, The Scottish Government, The Welsh Assembly Government, The Crown Estates, Energy Technologies Institute, Scottish & Southern Energy, RWE Innogy, E.ON, DONG Energy, Statoil, Mainstream Renewable Power, Renewable Energy Systems (RES), Vestas, and the Public Interest Research Centre.

The Offshore Valuation Group report (5 mb PDF) finds that by harnessing 29% of the practical offshore renewable resource by 2050 the electricity equivalent of 1 billion barrels of oil (1 TW.h = 1.6 million barrels of oil equivalent) could be generated annually.

To harness 29% of the practical offshore renewable resource by 2050 would equate to installed capacity of 169 GW (the equivalent of one thousand 7.5 MW turbines installed per year until 2050) and require a capital expenditure of £443 billion.  This would require the creation of 145,000 new jobs.  By 2050 it could produce annual revenue of £62 billion and annual profits of £16 billion.  “The infrastructure deployment required is similar in scale to that of oil and gas in recent decades.”

The report outlines more and less ambitious targets but states that their “achievability will ultimately be determined by the level of the UK’s ambition.”

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