The government intends for offshore wind to provide more than 30% of Britain’s electricity by 2030 as part of a new sector deal for the technology.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) today published the details of offshore wind’s long-awaited sector deal under the wider Industrial Strategy, targeting more than £40 billion of infrastructure investment.
Additional measures included within the deal include a new target for the amount of UK content in domestic offshore wind projects to 60%, £250 million of funding for firms in strategic areas to explore new offshore wind innovations such as floating wind and the intent to increase global exports of offshore wind technology fivefold to £2.6 billion per year.
However in establishing a 2030 target for offshore wind generation, the government is signalling a date for renewables to be a more prolific source of power than fossil fuels for the first time. Furthermore, BEIS said it would mean 70% of British power originating from low carbon sources.
Fabrice Leveque, senior policy manager at trade body Scottish Renewables, described the deal as a “major milestone” for the industry.
“With the support of government both at Westminster and in Edinburgh we, as an industry, can work together, as set out in this sector deal, to help ensure offshore wind’s benefits are felt across the country for decades to come.”
The deal was welcomed by offshore wind firms including ScottishPower and Ørsted, whose UK country manager for offshore Benj Sykes said offshore wind is now set to “take its place at the heart of our low-carbon, affordable and reliable electricity system of the future”.
Keith Anderson, chief executive at ScottishPower, meanwhile said his firm stood ready to invest more in pursuit of future offshore wind projects, alluding to a £2 billion renewables investment package the company outlined last week.