UK offshore wind capacity looks set to double
The UK Government’s announcement to introduce new auctions to secure renewable energy sources could mean that the UK’s offshore wind capacity may nearly double over the next decade.
That’s according to RenewableUK which called the announcement a ringing endorsement by Government of the UK’s world-leading offshore wind industry and its ability to deliver for consumers, businesses and British industry.
“This boosts our ambitions for offshore wind is win-win for consumers, as the industry’s success at cutting costs mean that offshore wind is now one of the cheapest options for new power in the UK,” said Hugh McNeal, chief executive, RenewableUK.
Mr McNeal said that the announcement sets the UK on the path do deliver the tens of billions of pounds of investment that will be needed to meet the ambition of at least 30GW by 2030.
It’s also good news for domestic supply chain which can look forward to a pipeline of new offshore wind projects that will support tens of thousands of jobs across the UK.
The next competitive auction to procure new renewable power capacity will take place in May 2019, with offshore wind, remote island wind and a range of other projects competing for Contracts for Difference (CfD).
Claire Perry, the Minister for Clean Growth and Climate Change, also announced that further CfD auctions will take place every two years and that auctions will be supported by a budget of £557m.
This latest announcement follows last year’s successful CfD auction which saw the cost of power from new offshore wind farms fall by 50%, making it one of the cheapest options for new power in the UK – lower than the cost of new gas and nuclear power.
By Anne-Marie Causer
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