United Kingdom targets surge in offshore wind power

Olive Hawkins
March 10, 2019

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They now meet around 7 per cent of our power needs but that should increase to more than 30 per cent within a decade.

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The move comes under the new Offshore Wind Sector Deal, a joint commitment by the government and the offshore wind industry to grow the renewables sector and provide clean energy to the country.

The number of jobs in the offshore wind sector is set to triple, to 27,000, over the next decade.

This is the tenth Sector Deal from the modern Industrial Strategy signed by Business Secretary Greg Clark.

Increase the sector target for the amount of United Kingdom content in homegrown offshore wind projects to 60%, making sure that the £557 million pledged by the government in July 2018 for further clean power auctions over the next 10 years will directly benefit local communities from Wick to the Isle of Wight.

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Chris Claydon, chief executive of the ECITB, said: "The ECITB welcomes the Offshore Wind Sector Deal".

The Co-Chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and Ørsted UK Country Manager for Offshore, Benj Sykes, said: "This relentlessly innovative sector is revitalising parts of the country with transformational, sustainable opportunities, especially coastal communities, from Wick in the north of Scotland to the Isle of Wight, and from Barrow-in-Furness to the Humber".

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The deal will involve the release of seabed land owned by the Crown Estate, which manages the Queen's property and assets. Over a quarter of engineering construction companies support the renewable energy sector and, as the statutory skills body for the engineering construction industry, we have a crucial role to play in developing the workforce to meet current and future demand.

The offshore wind industry has grown almost five-fold since 2011, with 23 gigawatts installed at the end of 2018 and a large volume of planned projects in Europe, China and the United States. "We have seen it work in Europe - we can now make use of global experience to scale up offshore wind projects in emerging markets", said Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director and Head of Energy and Extractives at the World Bank.

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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