Four businesses have been awarded more than £4 million under moves to lower the costs of generating offshore wind energy.

The Government said the grants will support research and development into offshore wind power.

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.

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"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."

High Voltage Partial Discharge has been given £900,000 to trial technology to give an early warning of faults in cables; 2-B Energy has been awarded almost £2.8 million to develop a two-bladed turbine; SgurrControl will have £667,000 to work on a control system to reduce the stress placed on turbine blades; and Ocean Resource Ltd has been given £216,000 to develop an offshore wind turbine that is assembled on-shore.