The UK will need 75GW of operating offshore wind capacity to reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target by 2050, according to a recent report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).
Currently, the UK has around 8GW of operating offshore wind capacity. The recent sector deal has set a target of 30GW of operating capacity by 2030.
According to the report, Net Zero – The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming, 75GW of offshore wind would require up to 7,500 turbines and could fit within 1-2% of the UK seabed, comparable to the area of sites already leased for wind projects by the Crown Estate.
Commenting on the report’s call for at least 75GW of offshore wind by 2050, Matthew Wright, MD at Ørsted UK, said: “75GW of offshore wind by 2050 is definitely achievable. The cost of offshore wind has already reduced to the point where it is comparable with conventional generation, and it’s continuing to fall. The UK has a rapidly expanding supply chain supporting the offshore wind sector, which is creating thousands of new jobs, and we are confident of attracting the tens of billions of pounds of investment required to make this a reality.”
The offshore wind industry will also help offset the impact of around 28,000 job losses in coal, oil and gas in the north of England by 2030, as well as expected job losses in those industries in Scotland, according to the report. The sector deal estimates that the number of jobs in the offshore wind industry will increase from 7,200 today to 27,000 in 2030.