The UK government has issued a call for pension funds and sovereign wealth funds to invest in large offshore wind projects.
It is meeting potential investors to make the case for investing, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said in a statement.
“We have invited potential investors to London today to make the case for offshore wind as a stable, long-term and lucrative investment opportunity,” said Charles Hendry, Minister of State for Energy.
“The UK is a global leader in offshore wind and if people are not seriously considering investing here then I want to know why.”
A DECC spokesman declined to name the UK and international investors attending the closed meeting. He cited the investment by Dutch pension giant PGGM and the Triodos-managed Ampere Equity Fund in the Walney offshore project as an example of how investors can get involved.
DECC said the country needs around £200bn of investment in new energy infrastructure to cut the dependence on imported fossil fuels and boost energy security: “Much of this will need to come from sources beyond the UK’s current major energy suppliers.”
The UK has the largest offshore wind industry in the world, according to government statistics.As at the end of 2010, there were 15 offshore wind farms with 1341 MW of installed capacity.
Prime Minister David Cameron, said: “I see offshore wind as a significant energy and industrial opportunity for the UK, and one that I am determined to seize.
“We have abundant natural advantages and a world-leading marine engineering base.” Renewable energy could help “diversify and decarbonise” the UK’s long-term energy mix.
Offshore wind is expected to make the single biggest contribution towards the government’s target of 15% of energy from renewable sources by 2020.
“If people are not seriously considering investing then I want to know why”
The European Wind Energy Association, which is currently holding an offshore wind conference in Amsterdam, expects annual investments in the European offshore wind industry to reach €10bn.
Over 141GW of offshore capacity is either built, under construction, consented, or planned in Europe – with the potential to provide 13% of Europe’s total electricity production.