UK Offshore Wind Industry Tables 30 by 30 Proposal
The UK offshore wind industry has committed to working with the UK government on a sector deal which would see offshore wind deliver one third of the UK’s electricity and reach the connected capacity of 30GW by 2030.
This deal could also deliver thousands of additional skilled jobs in coastal areas, and billions of pounds worth of export opportunities, the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) said.
The scaled up ambition, coupled with the government’s Clean Growth Strategy, means the industry will more than double its capacity from 13GW deployed or contracted today, to 30GW by 2030.
This additional capacity will not only generate affordable and clean electricity for UK business and consumers, it will also have a direct impact on supply chain productivity and efficiency, benefitting other sectors as well as the UK’s ability to export, OWIC said.
The sector’s engagement with the UK government will be led by The Baroness Brown of Cambridge, who is the UK’s Low Carbon Business Ambassador and Vice Chair of the Committee on Climate Change.
“The challenge for the offshore wind industry and Government is to ensure that we capitalise on our world-leading position in a highly competitive, global market and deliver on the huge potential for jobs, new infrastructure, exports and economic growth. This will also allow us to continue to achieve significant cost reductions, helping energy consumers,” Baroness 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.”
Potential for growth
The sector is offering to make a number of new commitments from the industry to support the objectives of the government’s Industrial Strategy; prioritising innovation, creating new business opportunities, generating high-quality jobs, helping communities to prosper and upgrading UK infrastructure.
For example, the industry has identified the potential to invest a further GBP 48 billion in essential energy infrastructure by 2030, which could reduce overall electricity system costs by 9%.
The sector’s analysis also shows how the growing global offshore wind market, expected to reach over GBP 30 billion per annum by 2030, presents huge 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 now enter into a period of engagement with the UK Government on the prospectus.
Benj Sykes, Co-Chair of OWIC, said: “This deal comes at the right time for the Offshore Wind Sector; we have grown rapidly and reduced costs much faster than anticipated. The Sector is now at a critical turning point and must seize this opportunity to reach its full potential with a transformative deal. 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.”