Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Government throws its weight behind offshore wind power expansion

Image Shutterstock Image Shutterstock
Cary Marshall | 10 March, 2019, 12:29

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The offshore wind "revolution" will mean nearly a third of homes and businesses will be powered by offshore wind, and more than two thirds by low-carbon sources including.

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Wright said the technology is a "huge United Kingdom success story" and predicted the deal to trigger significant new investment as the government looks to "put offshore wind at the front and centre of the UK's Industrial Strategy".

MHI Vestas vice president Julian Brown said: "Our recent investment on the Isle of Wight is already delivering on the sector deal ambitions, creating almost 400 new highly skilled jobs in 2019, exporting over three quarters of our 2019 output and investing £1m in a four-year skills programme".

In return, the industry has committed to increase the share of British content in new projects to 60 per cent, from about 48 per cent in recent years.

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The Chief Executive of RenewableUK, Hugh McNeal, said: "The Sector Deal is about creating opportunities for the people who will be part of our 27,000-strong offshore wind workforce".

And there will be more efforts to reduce the cost of offshore wind projects, which have already seen costs halve in just two years, in the 2020s to help move to a subsidy-free system. We're setting up a new body to develop the right skills for years to come, not only by offering apprenticeships, but also by helping experienced people from other parts of the energy sector, as well as the military, to make the change into offshore wind.

The cluster is able to deliver every element for building an offshore wind farm, from foundations, design, cables and cable laying to extensive port facilities, Ritchie said, adding that it is also home to a number of companies providing offshore wind O&M support. This leaves Britain with a big energy gap in the future. Although 84% of the total offshore wind installations are in the European waters, the governments outside the European region, particularly in the Asia-Pacific and North America have set an ambitious target for the installation of offshore wind farms in their respective territorial waters.

'Wind and solar must be tripled between now and 2030, with offshore wind the future backbone of the UK's energy system'.

Additionally, it "will look to seize on the opportunities presented by the UK's 7,000 miles of coastline, as the industry continues to be a coastal catalyst for numerous UK's former fishing villages and ports", the government statement said.

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