UK to Invest in Large-Scale Floating Offshore Wind Ports

The UK government is setting aside up to GBP 160 million for the development of new large-scale floating offshore wind ports and factories in Wales and Scotland, the UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed.

Image for illustrative purpose only; Kincardine Floating Wind Farm in Scotland; Source: Cobra Group / Principle Power

Developers and manufacturers looking to invest in this emerging industry will be able to bid for a share of funds to kickstart projects across the UK. 

The newly allocated funding will support the target in the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan to deliver 1 GW of energy through floating offshore wind by 2030 – nearly nine times more than the current volumes worldwide.

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It is expected that the GBP 160 million, boosted by private sector investment, will develop port infrastructure capable of mass-producing floating offshore wind turbines and installing them out at sea, creating thousands of new jobs in the UK’s industrial heartlands, whilst reducing the need to import from overseas.

Making the most of the deep waters off the Scottish coast offers huge opportunities for Scotland’s coastal communities, building on its lead as a technology hub for offshore wind, including two of the world’s first floating offshore wind farms off the coast of Aberdeen, the government said.

The Celtic Sea is also a major development opportunity for the offshore wind sector, with a combination of deep waters and strong winds, and which is set to create significant opportunities for development in Wales, creating a new economic cluster that builds on its strong industrial heritage.

”Offshore wind is a UK success story in forging our Green Industrial Revolution. Tapping into this emerging sector will boost our clean electricity generation even further, creating jobs and green innovation across the whole of the UK,” Prime Minister Johnson said.

The UK’s success story in the offshore wind industry has seen costs fall by 65 per cent, the government said. Replicating this around the world will be crucial to helping halve global emissions by 2030, helping to keep within reach the limit to temperatures rises to 1.5C.

”This investment will help to attract further private sector backing to boost our industrial heartlands. It will create and support thousands of good quality jobs ensuring they remain at the forefront of the next generation of clean energy as we build back greener,” Business & Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said.

”Floating offshore wind is key to unlocking the spectacular wind energy resource we enjoy in the UK, particularly in the deep waters around the coasts of Scotland and Wales. This new investment will put us in a leading position to capture the full economic benefit of this fast growing industry.”

The newly allocating funding follows the UK government’s GBP 160 million scheme to upgrade ports and infrastructure for the conventional offshore wind industry, which has secured around GBP 1.5 billion of investment, including new offshore wind ports in Teesside and the Humber. 

Earlier this year, the government also kicked off the biggest-ever round of the Contracts for Difference scheme – accelerating low carbon electricity generation, including GBP 200 million support for offshore wind projects and GBP 24 million for floating offshore wind.