The Carbon Trust has called for wind farms to be built closer to the shore in order to reduce costs and meet 2020 renewable energy targets.

In its latest report, the Carbon Trust has said that relaxing current planning constraints could potentially cut costs by £16 bn.

The UK’s next round of wind farms, at present, would have to be built 70 miles from the shore and in deep waters.

However the Carbon Trust claims that allowing wind farms to be built closer to shore and in shallower waters, and coupled with other policy changes, would cut costs by up to 40%.

The Trust recommended removing grid and planning regulatory barriers, increasing public R&D funding and modifying the current incentive mechanism, and claimed that the combined measures could cut carbon emissions by 14%, create 70,000 new jobs and bolster energy security.

The UK must generate 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.