Nine European offshore wind developers have joined forces with independent company Carbon Trust to work on a collaborative research, development and demonstration (RD&D) program to reduce the cost of offshore wind energy.

The partners will work on the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) to reduce the cost of offshore wind power by 10% in time for Round 3 through technological innovation.

Backed by £1.5m funding from the Scottish Government for first year, the program will also receive at least £6.4m financing over the next four years from the nine companies to bring new innovations to market in order to reduce wind costs to below £100 per MWh by 2020.

The companies include Dong Energy, EnBW, Eon, Iberdrola, RWE, SSE, Statkraft, Statoil and Vattenfall.

Scottish Government Business, Innovation and Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Innovation in renewables also continues to contribute to the excellent progress we are making on reducing greenhouse gas emissions after the recent announcement that Scotland has exceeded our 2020 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42% six years early.”

Designed to impact the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) from offshore wind, the program intends to reduce costs while improving efficiency and availability of existing and future offshore wind power projects.

Carbon Trust CEO Tom Delay said: “Over the last five years the cost of energy from offshore wind has decreased significantly, largely driven by a combination of innovation, risk reduction and increased deployment rates.

“But we need to continue building on this success by getting the right solutions into market quickly to put offshore wind on the path to cost competitiveness by 2020.”

Since its launch in 2008, the OWA has delivered more than 125 projects which include improved cable and turbine foundation designs.

Image: The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator program aims to reduce wind costs below £100 per MWh by 2020. Photo: courtesy of xedos4/