RENEWABLE ENERGY079task of decarbonising its energy with an immediaterequirement to reduce its CO2 emission by 20 per centby 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. This is particularlychallenging when considering the energy demandprofile, which is equally divided between transport,industrial, domestic. This translates to electricitytransporting 25 per cent of energy consumed and thedirect conversion of fuel to heat or transportconstitutes the remaining 75 per cent. To achieve itsemission reduction obligations, the UK has few optionsother than large scale electrification of its energytransportation infrastructure. This suggests the UK'spower generation infrastructure will need to double incapacity by 2030 and triple again on that by 2050.Add the difficulties of energy security relating tohydrocarbons, and the scale of the challenge facingthe UK's capability to maintain its essential power andenergy infrastructure comes into focus.RENEWABLE ENERGYA clear strategic option for the UK in dealing with its energy challenges is to exploit the vast renewable energy resources that its geography hasfortuitously provided. This is particularly true withrespect to its offshore resources, which even withcurrent technology have the potential to provide theentire UK with its energy needs as well as a good partof Europe. Therefore, a large majority of the UK Government'sstrategy for clean energy and the wider energy sector isbeing played out in offshore waters. The activity hasalready started to deliver this potential and by 2015US$15 billion of new investment will have been madein offshore wind farms. By 2020, an estimatedUS$175 billion is to be invested in marine-relatedenergy projects. Offshore wind energy is to account forUS$150 billion of this investment. While offshore renewables are expected to make a greater contribution to the UK's energy mix in the future, a range of political, economic andenvironmental factors create significant uncertaintyover both the level of renewable capacity that will bebuilt and the pace at which it will become operational.Among the most important of these factors are:?
" "UK politics:The high profile given to strategic energyissues in recent years makes future energy sources atopic of significant political interest and, therefore,subject to potential changes in policy. Given theavailable options, the UK Government is more likely toincrease rather than reduce the drive for offshorerenewable energy. UK firms advise on green projectsaround the world, and the City hosts the world's largestactive carbon-trading market - the European CarbonExchange. The creation of green jobs scores highly onthe political agenda and this is a primary driver toprovide political support for renewables to continue.Global and EU perspective:Any shift in stance oncombating climate change, or more rapid progress inthe development of low carbon energy sources, couldimpact the perceived need for offshore renewablegeneration. Concerns over supplies of fossil fuelgeneration and increased electricity prices are alsolikely to make energy security a more prominentrequirement, strengthening the case for renewables. Technology and Project economics:The production ofwind energy from offshore turbines in shallow seascosts about 50 per cent more than land based onesand turbines in deep waters cost more than in shallowwaters. However, advancements in technology willimprove project economics over time. The concept offloating turbines in the deep ocean is being tested inNorway by StatoilHydro and Siemens with a two-yeartrial pilot turbine towed out to sea in June 2009.Turbines are also likely to get bigger from an average of3MW to 5/6MW or even more, making deeper waterlocations a more viable option. Supply chain capacity: The UK's offshore windprogramme will create huge demand across the supplychain at a time when other countries are also looking tosignificantly increase their wind energy capacity. Thiswill create high demand for improved port facilities,vessels, wind turbines, transmission cable and otherkey items of plant, as well as services such as turbineand cable installation, and skilled engineers toundertake equipment and project design. Grid Connections:Offshore transmission is an area ofgrowing importance; the combination of a constrainedonshore network and increase in demand forconnection of offshore generation means offshoretransmission infrastructure is absolutely vital.INVESTING IN OFFSHORE WINDThe Sector is considered more complex than most, dueto the large involvement of government policy,UTILITIES, ENERGY COMPANIES ANDOTHER INVESTORSHAVE ALREADY INVESTED IN US$3BILLION IN THEOFFSHORE WINDSECTOR AND COMMITTED A FURTHER US$5BILLION TO NEARTERM PROJECTS080RENEWABLE ENERGYDELIVERING THE NEED: A NEW MODEL FOR PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP