Energy ministers from 23 of the world’s leading economies met in London on Wednesday and Thursday 25 and 26 April to discuss ways and means of accelerating the transition to clean energy technologies.  An agreement flagged up in advance of the talks was between the UK and the USA which plan to make floating wind turbines the initial focus of a new co-operative effort between the two countries in technology development.

This is the first concrete manifestation of a new Memorandum of Understanding  on ‘Collaboration in Energy Related Fields’ agreed just ahead of the conference between the UK and US covers collaboration in areas such as power generation (including low carbon technologies to combat climate change), energy transmission and distribution and energy efficiency. The UK-US collaboration on floating wind will ensure that both countries align our resources to maximise the impact for both countries.  It will also enable the sharing of best practice and expertise. It is hoped that ultimately this approach will result in more cost effective, higher yield floating wind technologies being developed. 

During the London talks, Mr Davey was expected to sign a number of bilateral agreements with other governments to work in collaboration over the coming years. The UK/ USA wind technology agreement is aimed at the generation of power in deep waters currently off limits to conventional turbines but where the wind is much stronger.

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: ‘Britain has more wind turbines installed around its shores than any other country in the world and our market is rated year after year as the most attractive market among investors. Offshore wind is critical for the UK’s energy future and there is big interest around the world in what we’re doing. Floating wind turbines will allow us to exploit more of the our wind resource, potentially more cheaply.   ‘Turbines will be able to locate in ever deeper waters where the wind is stronger but without the expense of foundations down to the seabed or of major repairs out at sea. The UK and US are both making funding available for this technology and we’re determined to work together to capitalise on this shared intent.’

The UK benefits from a third of Europe’s offshore wind potential, has more installed  offshore wind than any other country, the biggest pipeline of projects, and is rated year after year by Ernst & Young as the most attractive market among investors.