Offshore wind will supply 30% of the UK’s energy by 2030, in ambitious targets set out in the UK’s first ever offshore wind sector deal.
The sector deal worth £250M represents a partnership between the UK government and the private sector, and is the 10th such deal signed off by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), following the implementation of construction and nuclear sector deals both introduced in 2018.
Under the deal the government will provide subsidies, open land for development and support businesses to drive down the cost of new wind projects to encourage companies to expand and innovate.
The main aim of the deal is to increase the portion of UK energy sourced from offshore wind farms to 30%, by installing 30GW of new offshore wind capacity in the next decade. Offshore wind farms currently account for 10% of the UK’s energy production.
Alongside other renewables, this would represent the first time in UK history that more electricity is sourced from renewables than fossil fuels.
Under the deal, the Crown Estate will release new seabed land across the UK’s 11,000km of coast line from 2019 to facilitate new offshore wind developments, which subsidised by the deal, would mean savings will be passed onto customers.
The sector deal also aims to increase the export of wind technology across the globe by UK companies to a massive £2.6bn a year by 2030 through a partnership between the Department of Trade and industry to support smaller supply chain companies to export for the first time.
£4M is also being provided by the government to support wind developments utilising British expertise and supply chain companies in countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan and the Philippines.
British companies will also be challenged to more than double the number of women entering the industry to at least 33% by 2030, up from 16% today.
Energy & clean growth minister Claire Perry said: “This new sector deal will drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the UK, bringing investment into coastal communities and ensuring we maintain our position as global leaders in this growing sector.”
Responding, a spokesperson for the National Infrastructure Commission said the deal was in line with the National Infrastructure Assessment.
“Our National Infrastructure Assessment – the first of its kind for the UK – recommends that Ministers aim for half of the UK’s electricity generation to come from renewables by 2030,” they said. “Today’s deal emphasises how a move towards that could not just benefit our environment, but also our economy – and form a key part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.”
The sector deal follows several previous announcements of funding and support for renewable energy in the UK, including carbon capture innovation competitions and support for new tidal energy schemes.
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