The government pledged to invest £10m to develop the next generation of offshore wind technology.

An overhaul in the government's renewables support policy means that sea-based renewable technologies will receive more funding during the research stages to encourage their development.

The new regime comes into force 1 April, part of the government’s Renewable Obligation (RO) scheme.

Mike O’Brien, minister for the department of energy and climate change (DECC) told industry leaders that renewable energy was a weapon “to secure energy supplies…and tackle climate change”.

O’Brian claimed that the government had determined to meet its challenging renewable energy targets in spite of the economic slowdown.

EU Member States must generate 20% of all their energy from renewable sources by 2020