11 Oct 2010 11:10:06
Offshore renewables 'could power 5 million south-west homes'
Offshore renewable energy projects in the south-west of England have the potential to provide power for five million homes, it has been claimed.
A study conducted by South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) concluded that offshore wind, wave and tidal developments could produce enough power to meet more than double domestic demand in the region.
Conducted by renewable energy consultants PMSS, the research found that there are sufficient resources up to 50km off the coast to generate 9.2GW, which is enough to power 20 percent of UK households.
Some 1.2GW of this would come from wave power, 1.8GW from tidal stream developments and 4.4GW from offshore wind farms. Floating deepwater wind farms could also provide 2.5GW.
Claire Gibson, director of sustainable resources at the South West RDA, said that the report is "invaluable" in ensuring renewable resources are considered during the development of Marine Conservation Zones.
She added that the project recommends a number of licensing rounds "for a strategic approach to the provision of onshore and offshore grid infrastructure".
Thanet, the world's largest offshore wind farm, which contains 100 turbines, was recently opened off the coast of Kent.