New mega offshore windfarms could supply 2% of UK energy

Likely to be offshored in more senses than one, though

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

British wind farmed by British workers... or not

The ROC scheme, however, does nothing to ensure that turbines will be made in Blighty or even erected/maintained by British workers. The UK's only wind-turbine factory was shut down by its owners last year in favour of investments in China and the US, and current offshore wind projects - as is normal in much of maritime industry - are already making use of cheap foreign labour.

The British wind-biz industry body says that more government help over and above the ROC scheme would be necessary if the hoped-for green jobs bonanza is to appear.

"Upgrades to the UK’s electricity grid will be required," said the British Wind Energy Association in a statement on Friday. "Government commitments are needed to ensure that upgrades and extensions are built to carry the renewable energy power produced in windy and offshore areas to customers through the UK."

The windbiz spokespersons continue:

BWEA argues that the Government needs to lead on upgrades to UK ports to provide state-of-the-art quayside facilities and create coastal manufacturing and research hubs for manufacturers... With new turbine assembly plants in UK ports, domestic manufacturers would be able to enter the component supply market for gearboxes, bearings and castings.

The BWEA didn't make clear how the government should fund the necessary moves.

Different energy analysts have also warned that a large proportion of erratic wind electricity supply will also increase the cost of the remaining "thermal" generators. As this would be on top of ROC-driven price increases, a need to upgrade the national grid, and unspecified subsidies or levies to make sure the offshore industry doesn't go offshore, the final pricetag for the new wind farms and their two per cent CO2 cut looks like being a big one.

Last week's licences, however, are no guarantee that the full 32 gigawatts of capacity will ever appear, or indeed that any of it will. Most of the licencees gave no date for a firm decision, but the government's extension of double ROCs to 2014 offers investors some breathing space. The go/no-go call on the Dogger Bank project, largest of them all at nine gigs, is expected - funnily enough - in "late 2014". ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story


10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.