The UK has agreed to ambitious targets for the development of renewable energy over the next decade. By 2020, the Government expects that 15% of the UK's energy needs will be met from renewable sources. This means that around 30% of UK's electricity may come from renewables.
Offshore power generation will play an important part in the meeting of the renewable and carbon emission targets and improving energy security by 2020 and afterwards towards 2050.
The UK has the potential to generate renewable electricity energy by utilising the vast natural resources readily and freely available in the waters surrounding the country. This 'green energy' can be captured by offshore wind farms and marine technology (wave and tidal) located in the UK's offshore waters. To use this resource, areas have been identified for lease by The Crown Estate and Scottish Government, and released in various licensing rounds.
A regulatory regime has been introduced for offshore electricity transmission. Offshore transmission that operates at 132kV or above will be a licensed activity, regulated by Ofgem and assigned through a competitive tender process.