March 20 (Renewables Now) - The UK offshore wind industry said today it will now start engagement with the UK government on agreeing a Sector Deal and that the effort will be led by Baroness Brown of Cambridge.
The industry's ambition is to produce one third of UK electricity from offshore wind by 2030 and more than double its capacity from 13 GW installed or contracted currently to 30 GW by that time.
The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), a senior government and industry forum created in 2013, says that by 2030 the industry could invest GBP 48 billion (USD 67m/EUR 55m) in UK energy infrastructure and boost its export value five-fold to GBP 2.6 billion a year. It could further deliver 27,000 skilled jobs across the UK, up from 11,000 now, and a GBP-2.4-billion a year reduction in total electricity system costs.
Following the UK government's Industrial Strategy last year, the offshore wind industry committed to working with the government to secure a Sector Deal by mid-2018.
After rapid growth and fast cost reduction, the sector "is now at a critical turning point and must seize this opportunity to reach its full potential with a transformative deal," said OWIC co-chair, Ørsted A/S' (CPH:ORSTED) Benj Sykes. "Our proposals show how the innovative offshore wind industry can drive economic growth throughout the UK, attracting billions in investment, driving growth in coastal communities which need new opportunities, whilst generating affordable and clean energy," Sykes added.
Baroness Brown is the UK's Low Carbon Business Ambassador and vice chair of the Committee on Climate Change.
(GBP 1 = USD 1.402/EUR 1.139)