Renewable Energy

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The Importance of Renewable Energy Structures & Renewable UK

The UK is the world leader in offshore renewables. We have more projects installed, more in construction and more in development than any other country in the world.

Currently offshore wind provides around 3% of the UK's electricity demand, but by 2020 this is likely to increase to 20%. This will allow the UK to meet its legally binding 2020 EU renewable energy target. Doing so represents an investment opportunity of £60 billion and the potential for the UK to secure the global industrial base for offshore wind. In turn offshore wind could support 30,000 jobs in not just the installation and development of wind farms, but the manufacture and design of vessels and turbines.

Progress can already be seen to be happening - from a resurgence in boat building in Bridlington, new foundation and expansions to cable factories on Teesside and substations being designed in Manchester and built in Belfast. A number of turbine manufacturers have also announced their intentions to invest in manufacturing facilities in the UK, including Siemens in Hull and Gamesa in Leith. These announcements have seen the numbers of people working in offshore wind double over the past three years to around 3,100 FTEs - all this in the midst of the worst recession for a century.

As well as providing employment benefits, offshore wind is crucial for reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels. In 2011 around half of our gas was imported with Ofgem noting that: "higher gas prices have been the main driver of increased energy bills over the last eight years". 

Offshore wind is also a crucial element of the UK's legally binding commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80% on 1990 levels by 2020. The Committee on Climate Change has recommended that the cheapest way to achieve this is to almost completely decarbonize the power sector by 2030, with offshore wind one of the primary tools for doing so.

Offshore wind can therefore help deliver three policy objectives - delivering economic growth, improving our energy security and cutting our carbon emissions. 

We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to lead the world in a truly sustainable 21st Century industry and, as the leading renewable energy trade association, RenewableUK is working hard to deliver it.  Its vision is of renewable energy playing a leading role in powering the UK.

RenewableUK is the UK's leading renewable energy trade association, specialising in onshore wind, offshore wind and wave & tidal energy. Acting as a central point of information and a united, representative voice for its membership, it conducts research; finds solutions; organises events, facilitates business development, lobbies and promotes wind and marine renewables to government, industry, the media and the public.

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