Offshore wind will produce enough electricity for every home in the country by 2030 with floating offshore wind accounting for 1GW of a 40GW target set by the government.
This is the ambition of prime minister Boris Johnson whose “build back greener” plans are predicted to create jobs, cut carbon emissions, and provide a boost to exports.
To this end, £160m is being made available for ports and infrastructure upgrades in areas of the UK where offshore wind capacity can be increased. This is expected to lead to the creation of around 2,000 construction jobs and support up to 60,000 jobs directly and indirectly by 2030 in ports, factories and the supply chain.
Further plans include setting a target to support up to double the capacity of renewable energy in the next Contracts for Difference auction, which will open in late 2021. The government has also made a commitment to create jobs by onshoring manufacture of the components for offshore wind.
In a statement, Johnson said: “Our seas hold immense potential to power our homes and communities with low-cost green energy and we are already leading the way in harnessing its strengths.
“Now, as we build back better we must build back greener. So we are committing to new ambitious targets and investment into wind power to accelerate our progress towards net zero emissions by 2050.
“This sets us on our path towards a green industrial revolution, which will provide tens of thousands of highly-skilled jobs.”
Commenting on today’s announcement from the virtual Conservative Party conference, Prof Jon Gluyas, director of the Durham Energy Institute, Durham University, said: “Electricity generated from offshore wind is not a silver bullet for decarbonising heating nor for decarbonising transport. It is not even a silver bullet for decarbonising power generation.
“The roles of geothermal energy, solar thermal, solar photo voltaic, hydro power, biomass, hydrogen production as well as improved building and insulation standards need to be part of that future.”
“Eventually UK homes will be heated through electricity from offshore wind – but to be able to build that infrastructure through a COVID-ruined economy by 2030 – in just 9 years’ time – is a massive target,” added Prof Bikash Pal, Professor of Power Systems at Imperial College London.