Sector Deal to lift offshore wind share in UK, boost exports

The Blyth offshore wind park. Source: EDF Energy (www.edfenergy.com).

March 7 (Renewables Now) - The UK will have roughly a third of its power produced by offshore wind farms by 2030, lift the share of local content in such projects to 60%, and boost global exports fivefold, energy minister Claire Perry said Thursday on announcing the launch of the joint government-industry Offshore Wind Sector Deal.

Exports to other countries in Europe and newer offshore wind markets in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the US are seen to jump fivefold to GBP 2.6 billion (USD 3.4bn/EUR 3bn) per year by 2030, as smaller supply chain companies will get support to enter the global market and export for the first time.

The Offshore Wind Sector Deal will also seek to further reduce the cost of projects in the 2020s and overall system costs on the road to a subsidy-free world.

In the announcement today, the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) confirmed that the third contract for difference (CfD) allocation round for less established technologies such as offshore wind will open in May and that the next auctions will be happening around every two years. These auctions are seen to deliver 1 GW to 2 GW of offshore wind capacity each year into the 2020s.

It was also confirmed that Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland will be releasing new seabed land from 2019 for offshore wind.

“The Deal will see UK continuing as the largest European market for offshore wind, with 30 GW of clean wind power being built by 2030 - the UK making up a fifth of global wind capacity,” Perry said.

On Wednesday, BEIS said the Offshore Wind Sector Deal will seek to triple the number of green collar jobs and more than double that of women in the industry by 2030. Sector-wide jobs are seen to reach 27,000 by 2030, compared to 7,200 today. The industry, meanwhile, is pouring GBP 250 million in an Offshore Wind Growth Partnership to support the competitiveness of UK companies in areas like the North East, East Anglia, Humber and the Solent and enable offshore wind innovations in fields like robotics, advanced manufacturing, new materials, floating wind and larger turbines.

BEIS noted that this is the 10th sector deal signed by business secretary Greg Clark. It, however, is the first in the renewable energy sector.

"The Sector Deal’s not only a great example for the visibility it gives on future offshore wind volumes. But also for the model of government and industry collaboration it provides, with government committing to volumes and industry to funding the required innovation. This model could and should be replicated elsewhere," said Iván Pineda, WindEurope Director for Public Affairs.

In 2017, offshore wind met 6.2% of the UK power needs and that share is expected to surpass 10% by 2020. The country's installed offshore wind capacity stands at 7.9 GW at present, and 2.5 GW are under construction.

(GBP 1 = USD 1.31/EUR 1.16)

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for almost nine years. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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