Energy crisis: UK handed lifeline with FIVE new Celtic sea areas to power 4m homes

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In its efforts to escape the impacts of the fossil fuel energy crisis, the Government has looked to invest in revolutionary new renewable energy technologies that could even help reduce bills and power the UK without the use of oil and natural gas. One such technology- floating offshore wind farms- has taken a major leap forward as the UK has now identified five areas off the coast of Cornwall and Wales, where they can potentially deploy this technology.

The Crown Estate, which is responsible for leasing UK seabed space for renewable energy projects has described floating offshore wind as “the next frontier in green growth”.

Floating offshore wind farms, which are built much further away from coasts and can potentially harness stronger winds.

The sites that were selected are rich in wind potential, and if the development of the area goes ahead, by next year they would be open for competitive tender, and soon host the first generation of commercial-scale floating wind farms.

According to the Crown Estate’s statement, these sites would “unlock up to 4GW of new clean energy capacity between 2030 and 2035, kick-starting industry in the region, and providing power to almost four million homes.”

They also believe that by 2045, the Celtic Sea could generate a further 20 Gigawatts of renewable energy.

According to Simply Blue, 80 percent of Europe’s offshore wind resource is located in waters of 60 metres or deeper.

Harnessing more floating offshore wind farms in the UK would only boost the country’s position as a major wind energy generator.

Aside from accessing higher wind speeds, these floating farms also increase yield and capacity factors leading to that “competitive Levelised Costs of Energy (LCoE)”.

Huub den Rooijen from the Crown Estate said: “The Celtic Sea has the potential to become one of the great renewable energy basins of the world, bringing economic growth and abundant clean power.

“This leasing round is a first step, and we need to work together to bring technology costs down, deliver environmentally sound solutions and respect the needs of the many other users of the marine space.”

Greg Hands, energy and climate change minister, said: “We already have the largest offshore wind deployment in Europe. Floating technology is key to unlocking the full potential of our coastline.”

He added: “These projects can help power millions of homes with clean, and cheaper, renewable energy, reducing reliance on expensive fossil fuels.”

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The proposed plan will now face independent review, as researchers study the zones, refining the areas and whether to go ahead with three “test and demonstration” sites.

In the UK’s Energy Security Strategy, the Government has set an ambition to deliver up to 5GW of floating wind by 2030, with rapid expansion anticipated thereafter.

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