The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out new plans to ‘Build Back Greener’ by making the UK the world leader in clean wind energy, and in doing so “creating jobs, slashing carbon emissions and boosting exports”.
He said £160 million will be made available to “upgrade ports and infrastructure across communities like in Teesside and Humber in Northern England, Scotland and Wales to hugely increase our offshore wind capacity, which is already the largest in the world and currently meets 10% of our electricity demand.”
Mr Johnson said this new investment will see around 2,000 construction jobs rapidly created and will enable the sector to support up to 60,000 jobs directly and indirectly by 2030 — in ports, factories and the supply chains — manufacturing the next-generation of offshore wind turbines and delivering clean energy to the UK.
“Through this, UK businesses — including smaller suppliers — will be well-placed to win orders and further investment from energy companies around the world and increase their competitive standing on the global stage, as well as supporting low-carbon supply chains.”
The Prime Minister has also set out further commitments to ensure that, within the decade, the UK will be “at the forefront of the green industrial revolution as we accelerate our progress towards ‘net-zero’ emissions by 2050.
These include: confirming offshore wind will produce more than enough electricity to power every home in the country by 2030, based on current electricity usage, boosting the government’s previous 30GW target to 40GW; creating a new target for floating offshore wind to deliver 1GW of energy by 2030, which is over 15-times the current volumes world-wide (this technology allows wind farms to be built further out to sea in deeper waters, boosting capacity even further where winds are strongest); and 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 — providing enough clean, low cost energy to power up to 10 million homes.”
These commitments are the first stage outlined as part of the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan for a ‘green industrial revolution’ that will be set out fully later this year. This is expected to include ambitious targets and major investment into industries, innovation and infrastructure.
Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “The offshore wind sector is a major British success story, providing cheap, green electricity while supporting thousands of good-quality jobs. Today’s announcement marks the latest stage of the Government’s support for renewable energy. Last September, the third round of the Contracts for Difference renewable energy auction delivered record-low prices on enough clean energy to power 7 million homes.
Earlier this year the Government announced the next round would be open to onshore wind and solar projects for the first time since 2015.”