SSE Renewables Issues Roadmap to Tackling Offshore Wind Deployment Barriers in UK

SSE Renewables has warned that the cost of offshore wind will not be the reason for the UK missing its target of 40 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, but rather the significant barriers to deployment, many of which are increasing.

The barriers the industry is currently facing range from consenting challenges, to grid and aviation radar issues, as well as reform of electricity market design, SSE Renewables said.

The UK energy company has published a nine-point action plan to set out what is seen as key issues that governments, regulators and statutory bodies need to work collaboratively with the offshore wind industry to address.

Among others, the action plan calls for annual Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction rounds and more regular and increased seabed leasing volumes.

SSE Renewables believes that floating wind will be needed to deliver 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and is proposing that the UK government’s manifesto commitment to enable floating wind be followed up on with a fully developed strategy and accompanying policies as soon as possible.

The policy framework should acknowledge that direct competition between fixed bottom and floating wind technologies is not feasible in the near term, SSE Renewables said.

The paper has also called for strategic investment to support the development of the UK supply chain, as well as for the UK wind fleet to be more geographically diverse.

”The recent economic downturn caused by the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a fall in carbon dioxide emissions, but for all the wrong reasons. This will likely be short-lived as global economies seek to rebuild themselves once we begin exiting this crisis. That’s why it’s important we continue to make the investments we need in new low carbon infrastructure and why we should maintain focus on the UK’s net zero target,’‘  Paul Cooley, Director of Generation Development at SSE, said.

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