UK Tackles Offshore Wind Power Integration Challenge

The UK Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) has launched a new task force dedicated to finding innovative solutions to make the best use of electricity generated by renewable sources, including offshore wind.

The Solving the Integration Challenge research project is a key part of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal announced in March, RenewableUK said.

A group of experts and business leaders will examine how the UK can continue to decarbonize by building a modern energy system, managing variability of demand and supply, based on renewable technologies, with offshore wind playing a leading role.

The participants will publish a road map identifying pioneering techniques, such as using electricity from offshore wind to generate and store hydrogen as a power source.

It will also examine how to introduce more flexibility into the UK's energy system, such as by expanding battery storage and the use of demand-side response, which enables consumers to take advantage of low electricity prices at certain times of the day.

Earlier this month, the Committee on Climate Change published a report on cutting greenhouse gas emission to net zero by 2050 which emphasized the role of wind energy in tackling global warming while keeping energy bills down. The report suggests that the UK could increase its offshore wind capacity nearly tenfold by 2050, from 7.9GW now to 75GW.

“There is no doubt about the urgent need to be more ambitious in our plans to decarbonise electricity generation," said Baroness Brown of Cambridge, the Offshore Wind Sector Champion, who is leading the project.

"With the transformative Offshore Wind Sector Deal in place, and CCC’s call for more offshore wind, the time is right for the UK to reach out and embrace innovative technologies which will help us to integrate more low-cost power from renewables onto the system. This will benefit consumers and create highly-skilled jobs, as well as leading by example on the global stage in taking practical measures against climate change."

The task force began work on 20 May in London and includes senior representatives from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Scottish Government, Committee on Climate Change, National Grid, ORE Catapult, Energy Systems Catapult, Atkins, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, ITM, Good Energy, Shell, Equinor, Vattenfall and Ørsted.

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