Policy Exchange, a right-leaning think tank, has come out with a paper attacking the subsidies for offshore wind in the UK. Its reasoning is that offshore wind will always be too expensive and that the overseas market for British engineering is limited.
Both of these assumptions are probably wrong. One credible source sees the cost of offshore wind falling to levels competitive with gas, albeit over several decades. And foreign interest in offshore wind is growing as the best onshore sites are completed. A Chinese study estimated the potential for exploitable wind power offshore is about 750 gigawatts, perhaps ten times the UK’s likely resource. Over the next few years China plans enormous investments in sea-based turbines. Similar opportunities are available in the US. Read the rest of this entry »