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18 Sep 2008 05:09:10

Offshore wind 'critical' to South West renewable targets



Offshore wind 'critical' to South West renewable targets
Offshore wind is 'critical' for the achievement of renewable energy targets in the South West, according to a new report.

While deploying more of all renewable technologies will be essential if the region is to generate 15 or 20 per cent of its energy consumption from renewables, offshore wind is "first among equals".

Mathew Spencer, chief executive of Regen SW, the region's sustainable energy agency, made those comments regarding the new report published in conjunction with the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA).

The report claims that at the moment the region is on track to generate just five per cent from renewable sources.

According to Mr Spencer, one of the surprises contained in the report is the slow development and deployment of renewable heat. As a result of this sluggish progress, renewable electricity generation will have to account for a bigger share of the region's renewables target.

He added that "the overriding conclusion is challenging but positive".

South West RDA manager also saw signs of hope.

He said: "The UK renewable energy market is expected to grow ten-fold over the next 12 years, and we therefore expect to see significant growth in the region's renewables sector - which is already worth £215 million each year and is a central component of a low-carbon economy."

The report also noted that to reach targets, demand for heat and electricity in the region would have to be cut by 20 per cent.
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