UK Charts Decade-Long Offshore Wind Path

The UK government has committed to opening the Contracts for Difference (CfD) auctions for offshore wind every two years from 2019 throughout the 2020s.

Image for illustrative purposes. Source: Ørsted ‏

The commitment is part of a GBP 557 million package to support the development of less established technologies such as offshore wind and remote island wind.

The first allocation round is expected to be held by May 2019, with the second round slated for 2021 and every two years or so from then on.

Depending on the price achieved, these auctions are expected to deliver between one to two gigawatts of offshore wind each year in the 2020s, the government said.

The support package is part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy and will be announced later today by Energy & Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry.

”The UK renewables sector is thriving, with more offshore wind capacity here than anywhere else in the world and 50% of electricity coming from low-carbon sources last year in what was our greenest year ever,” Minister Perry said.

”For the last decade the offshore wind industry has been a great British success story: increasing productivity, raising earnings and improving lives in communities across the UK; and today the sector gets the certainty it needs to build on this success through the next 10 years.”

Today’s announcement is also said to support supply chains from the south coast to the north east of the UK. Companies such as Yorkshire-based Osbit Ltd, which specialises in the supply of technical equipment and engineering services to offshore wind projects are now set to benefit from the announced boost to the renewables industry to secure their future, the government said.

”Our sector has proposed a transformative ambition to deliver at least 30GW by 2030, enough to meet more than a third of the country’s electricity needs, which in turn could increase exports five-fold, create thousands of skilled jobs and reduce electricity system costs,” Benj Sykes, Co-Chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and UK Country Manager at Ørsted said.

”Today’s announcement is a vote of confidence in our industry, and will directly enable more investment in the UK.”