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UK offshore wind industry reveals 2030 plans

Offshore wind farm

The UK offshore wind industry has said it will work with the UK Government on a transformative sector deal that could deliver thousands of additional skilled jobs in coastal areas and export opportunities by 2030.

The industry’s vision for 2030 includes:

  • A £48 billion investment in UK infrastructure.

  • A five-fold increase in export value to £2.6 billion a year.

  • 27,000 skilled jobs across the UK (up from 11,000) in coastal areas.

  • A £2.4 billion-a-year reduction in total electricity system costs, reducing costs to consumers. The industry aims to generate a third of the UK’s electricity from offshore wind by 2030.

The government’s Clean Growth Strategy, published in October 2017, means that the industry will more than double its capacity from 13GW deployed to 30GW by 2030.

This additional capacity will generate affordable and clean electricity for UK business and consumers, and will have a direct impact on supply chain productivity and efficiency, benefiting other sectors as well as the UK’s ability to export.

Baroness Brown of Cambridge, the UK’s low carbon business ambassador and vice-chair of the Committee on Climate Change, will lead the sector’s engagement with the UK Government on climate change.

Lady Brown said: “With an ambitious sector deal, we have the opportunity to take the next transformative steps together, enabling the offshore wind industry to help government to achieve its clean growth ambitions in a way that boosts productivity and growth throughout the UK.”

Benj Sykes, co-chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Baroness Brown will be championing this deal on behalf of our sector. Her knowledge and skills will be invaluable as we continue to work with the government to deliver the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy.

He added: “Our proposals show how the innovative offshore wind industry can drive economic growth throughout the UK, attracting billions in investment, driving growth in coastal communities which need new opportunities, whilst generating affordable and clean energy.”

The industry has identified the potential to invest another £48 billion in essential energy infrastructure by 2030, which could reduce overall electricity system costs by 9 per cent.

The sector’s analysis shows how the growing global offshore wind market is expected to reach over £30 billion a year by 2030, which presents export opportunities for the UK. If a deal is agreed, the industry believes it can grow its export value five-fold by 2030.

The industry will enter into a period of engagement with the UK Government on the prospectus.

Image credit | iStock