Offshore Renewable Energy Projects
 
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Offshore Renewable Energy Projects

      5/25/2005

Offshore Renewable Energy Projects

Over 2,300 wind turbines are forecast to be installed offshore over the next five years at a cost of $13 billion, according to energy analysts Douglas-Westwood Limited. Forecasts produced in ‘The World Offshore Oil & Gas Report’ show that European oil production is now going into decline and that gas production is close to its peak. Increasing volumes of oil and gas will have to be imported from Russia and the Middle East at a very high cost to meet future demand.

The result is that there are now growing concerns over security of supply as European politicians begin to realise that political unrest in Russia, a previously source of interruption to gas supplies, could result in the lights going out in Europe and that a minor disruption in the Middle East could cause an instant redoubling of oil prices. Major oil and gas price increases are also likely within the next decade as oil demand is forecast to exceed supply. High oil and gas prices have, however, served to greatly improve the comparative economics of offshore renewable energy, a technology that has been attracting considerable attention of late as onshore sites are used up.

A recent analysis of expenditure on the Scroby Sands offshore windfarm, a 60 MW, 30 turbine project which came into production off the coast of Norfolk earlier this year shows such projects can bring considerable economic benefit to UK companies and workers. Of the £80 million expenditure, 48% was spent in the UK, with 16% being in the East of England region. Over 656,000 man-hours were committed to manufacturing, construction and operations, with workers across the UK winning 73% of this and local people 30%.


 

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