According to the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA), offshore windfarms could play a significant role in the UK’s future power supply mix, but not without additional government funding.

At its annual meeting, the association argued that the fledgling green energy industry could be producing enough electricity to power five million homes by 2015 if it could get the public money it needs now. The body wants capital grants or the government to underwrite some of its risks.

There is a cost gap of GBP300 per kilowatt that is stopping us achieving our potential. We need the government to help us cross that, BWEA chief executive Marcus Rand told Reuters.

Mr Rand suggested that without the support it is asking for, offshore wind farming would only deliver a quarter of its potential. The association hopes that the government’s own high priority to reduce CO2 emissions will make it a willing listener.