Announcement

£10million to spur on innovation in offshore wind

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Innovators with novel ideas to reduce the cost of offshore wind energy are today being invited to get their ideas off the drawing board and …

Innovators with novel ideas to reduce the cost of offshore wind energy are today being invited to get their ideas off the drawing board and into turbines out at sea with the launch of two  competitions.                

As highlighted in the Offshore Wind Technology Innovation Needs Assessment (TINA) published by the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG) in February this year, offshore wind has tremendous potential to reduce the UK’s reliance on imported fossil fuels, helping cut carbon and meet the UK’s renewables targets.  Innovation is key to improving efficiency and cutting costs but further investment is needed in this area.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

“This cash will help innovators across the UK develop a range of new ideas to cut costs and make offshore wind turbines more efficient to run. 

“This new investment follows two successful rounds of our offshore wind innovation scheme and I would encourage companies who haven’t yet taken advantage of this funding to get on board.”

Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board Iain Gray said:

“Through this funding we want to encourage the development of technologies that will reduce the cost of energy from offshore wind farms, while ensuring that companies in the UK supply chain increase their share of the market. 

“We’d particularly welcome ideas from companies in parallel sectors - such as oil and gas, aerospace and manufacturing - who may wish to expand into the offshore wind sector.”

Up to £7million is available under the third round of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Technology Strategy Board’s (TSB) component technologies development and demonstration scheme.  DECC and TSB expect to help fund between 5 and 10 projects, depending on the volume and quality of the applications received and the deadline for applications to DECC is noon on 16 January 2013.

Previous winners under the first round include Yorkshire based company David Brown Gear Systems Ltd, which was awarded £1.2million to help develop its 7MW offshore wind turbine gearbox, and Gravitas Offshore Ltd, based in Maidenhead, which received over £500,000 to help develop and demonstrate its concrete gravity foundation for large offshore wind turbines.  Winners of the second round will be announced soon.

From today interested organisations can also apply for a share of £3million for the development of technical feasibility studies in the offshore wind innovation arena.  This funding can be used to explore new ideas currently in the early stages of research and applications are encouraged from a range of sectors including those such as aerospace and oil and gas where the adaptation of existing technologies for the offshore wind sector could help cut costs in the future.  Applications must be submitted to the TSB before noon on 16 January 2013.

Potential applicants are encouraged to attend the briefing event on 13 November 2012 before submitting an application. 

Notes for editors

  1. Further details and application forms for the third round of the offshore wind component technologies development and demonstration scheme and feasibility studies competition can be found on the DECC website.  
  2. There is also £1.2million available under the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships scheme, co funded by TSB and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).  This scheme aims to support the transfer of innovation ideas and knowledge into industry from the world of academia.  Further details on the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships scheme and application form are available on the Technology Strategy Board website.
  3. Details and registration for the briefing event on 13 November can be found on the Connect: Offshore Wind - feasibility studies web pages.
  4. For media enquiries on the feasibility competition and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships scheme please contact the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) on 07766 901150; pressoffice@tsb.gov.uk.
  5. Details of winners under the first round of the offshore wind component technologies development and demonstration scheme.
  6. The Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group’s Technology Needs Assessments (TINAs) are a collaborative effort involving all members of LCICG and aims to identify and value the key innovation needs of specific low carbon technology families, in order to inform priorities for public sector investment in low carbon innovation.  The TINA on offshore wind can be found on the DECC website.
  7. The Spending Review of November 2010 announced DECC funding of over £200million for low carbon technologies over four financial years, from April 2011.  Further details on DECC’s innovation policies can be found on the DECC website.