The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has agreed a major new deal that will support an expansion in the use of offshore wind power. The Government hopes that the deal will mean that the renewable energy source will provide a third of the UK’s electricity by 2030. It is also expected to triple the number of jobs in offshore wind to 27,000, boosting the economies of coastal communities near major projects.
To support the deal, key players in the offshore wind sector have agreed to invest £250m over the next 11 years in exchange for participation in £557m of state subsidies for renewable energy.
The deal comes a month after the third phase of the world’s largest offshore wind farm off the coast of Yorkshire began powering the grid. The Hornsea Wind Farm, which has been developed through 3 building phases, is planned to have a total capacity of up to 6GW when it is completed and fully up and running later this year.
News of the deal also comes as BEIS published their latest quarterly Energy Trends report. This shows that in 2018 wind power provided a record 17.1% of the UK’s electricity (9.1% from onshore wind and 8% from offshore wind, both new annual records). Overall, renewables generated a record 33.3%, while nuclear provided 19.5%, gas 39.4% and coal generation dropped to a record annual low of 5%.
The Government estimates that the new deal will see more than 30% of electricity coming from offshore wind sources by 2030. It may also mean that approximately 70% of UK energy would be from renewable.
Speaking about the deal, the Energy and Clean Growth Minister, Claire Perry, said:
“This new sector deal will drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the UK, bringing investment into coastal communities and ensuring we maintain our position as global leaders in this growing sector.
“By 2030 a third of our electricity will come from offshore wind, generating thousands of high-quality jobs across the UK, a strong UK supply chain and a fivefold increase in exports.”
The latest electricity Energy Trends report can be found on the GOV.UK website.
Details of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal can be found here.
Last reviewed 2 April 2019