More than £4m of government funding has been awarded to four businesses lowering the costs of generating offshore wind energy.
2-B Energy, High Voltage Partial Discharge, SgurrControl and Ocean Resource have all been awarded funding under the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) innovation competition, which aims to support research designed to bring down the cost of offshore wind energy.
Announcing the funding, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: "The UK is already the world leader in offshore wind, with more deployed than any other country.
"The benefits that offshore wind can bring are clear, from enhancing our energy security, reducing our dependence on imports and helping reduce our carbon emissions.
"Innovation is critical to cutting the cost of this low-carbon power source, which could in turn lead to lower bills for hardworking consumers."
The majority of the funding will go to 2-B Energy, which has been awarded almost £2.8m to develop a two-bladed turbine. The company said it is planning to trial the design onshore in the Netherlands, before installing an offshore version at a test site off the Scottish coast at Fife.
High Voltage Partial Discharge has been given £900,000 to trial technology to give an early warning of faults in HVDC cables, while SgurrControl will have £667,000 to work on a control system to reduce the stress placed on turbine blades.
Ocean Resource Ltd has been given £216,000 to develop an offshore wind turbine that is assembled on-shore and then towed out for site installation using tugs – an approach the company reckons could cut offshore wind energy costs by up to 15 per cent.