The UK government has given a clear indication that it wants to see a viable and vibrant commercial market to develop for the establishment of an integrated off-shore wind farm infrastructure that will make a key contribution to the UK's future renewable energy mix.

Lord Truscott, parliamentary under secretary for energy for the UK government, has stated that harnessing the wind that whips across the sea around Britain will make a significant contribution to the UK’s renewable energy targets in future years.

The confident statement comes as the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) and Ofgem have launched a joint consultation on the licensing regime for the transmission of power from future offshore wind farms to the electricity networks.

The two government departments want to introduce a licensing system that will promote the development of a strong off-shore wind power industry that will involve a healthy commercial aspect.

As part of their consultation, the DTI and Ofgem will explore two proposed licensing systems: a non-exclusive system – enabling competition between many licensed transmission owners to provide offshore grid connections and an exclusive system – licensing a number of transmission owners in different areas to provide offshore grid connections.

The goal of the consultation is to establish a system that will deliver a successful and cost-effective integrated off-shore wind power infrastructure.