United Kingdom

United Kingdom

UK offshore industry reveals 30GW ambition

UK: An offshore wind industry forum believes the UK should have 30GW deployed or contracted off the coast of the UK by 2030.

The 630MW London Array is currently the UK's largest offshore wind farm
The 630MW London Array is currently the UK's largest offshore wind farm

The UK's Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) — which comprises representatives from developers, research centres, and government bodies — also wants £48 billion (€54.6 billion) invested in UK infrastructure by 2030.

It said the investment and increased capacity would result in a five-fold increase in export value, to £2.6 billion a year, the creation of an additional 16,000 skilled jobs mainly in coastal areas, and an annual £2.4 billion reduction (9%) in total electricity system costs.

The industry will now enter into a period of engagement with the UK government on its 2030 vision, the OWIC stated.

Benj Sykes, Ørsted’s UK country manager and OWIC’s co-chair, said: "This deal comes at the right time for the offshore wind sector. We have grown rapidly and reduced costs much faster than anticipated.

"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 opportunitites, whilst generating affordable and clean energy."

The UK government’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy department (BEIS) has proposed reaching a bespoke arrangement with the offshore wind industry as a proposed solution to the absence of new low-carbon electric levies until 2025.

To aid the offshore wind sector’s engagement with the government on a potential sector deal, the OWIC has nominated the UK’s Low Carbon Business Ambassador and vice chair of the Committee on Climate Change, Baroness Brown of Cambridge, as its sector champion for offshore wind.

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

In January, a report by Aurora Energy Research found that the UK's offshore wind capacity could reach 30GW by 2030 with the right policy mechanisms in place.

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