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Government signs off offshore wind sector deal

Words: Laura Edgar
Offshore wind turbines / iStock_000033111088

A government-industry sector deal for offshore wind has been signed off by energy secretary Greg Clark. It could see the number of related jobs triple to 27,000 by 2030.

The deal, the first one for a renewable energy technology, means that for the first time in the UK, more electricity would come from renewable sources than fossil fuels, said the government.

Alongside the deal, the UK Government said it would provide over £4 million pounds for British business to share expertise globally and open new markets for UK industry through a technical assistance programme to help countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan and the Philippines skip dirty coal power and develop their own offshore wind projects.

The deal aims to:

  • Increase the sector target for the amount of UK content in home-grown offshore wind projects to 60 per cent, making sure that the £557 million pledged by the government in July 2018 for further clean power auctions over the next 10 years would directly benefit local communities from Wick to the Isle of Wight.
  • Spearhead a new £250 million Offshore Wind Growth Partnership to make sure UK companies in areas like the North East, East Anglia, Humber and the Solent continue to be competitive and are leaders internationally in the next generation of offshore wind innovations.
  • See the Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland release new seabed land from 2019 for new offshore wind developments.
  • Challenge the sector to more than double the number of women entering the industry to at least 33 per cent by 2030.
  • Foster more work with further education institutions to develop a sector-wide curriculum to deliver a skilled and diverse workforce across the country and facilitate skills transfer within the industry.

Energy minister Claire Perry said the sector deal would "drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the UK”.

It would bring investment into coastal communities and ensure that the UK maintains its position as a global leader in this growing sector.

“By 2030 a third of our electricity will come from offshore wind, generating thousands of high-quality jobs across the UK, a strong UK supply chain and a fivefold increase in exports. This is our modern industrial strategy in action.”

Benj Sykes, the co-chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and Ørsted UK country manager for offshore, said: “This relentlessly innovative sector is revitalising parts of the country which have never seen opportunities like this for years, especially coastal communities from Wick in the northern Scotland to the Isle of Wight, and from Barrow-in-Furness to the Humber. Companies are burgeoning in clusters, creating new centres of excellence in this clean growth boom. The sector deal will ensure that even more of these companies win work not only on here, but around the world in a global offshore wind market set to be worth £30 billion a year by 2030.”

Image credit | iStock