UK deal pledges 30GW of offshore wind by 2030

Four offshore wind farms are in the Thames Estuary area: Kentish Flats, Gunfleet Sands, Thanet and London Array. The latter was the largest in the world until September 2018. Wikipedia/Delusion23
Four offshore wind farms are in the Thames Estuary area: Kentish Flats, Gunfleet Sands, Thanet and London Array. The latter was the largest in the world until September 2018. Wikipedia/Delusion23

In a major development for offshore windfarm sector, the Government has pledged that 30% of all UK electricity will be generated from offshore wind come 2030, amounting to 30GW.

Offshore farms supplied 6.2% of UK power throughout 2017, with the wind sector as a whole providing 15%.

As part of the March deal, private sector firms committed to invest GBP250 million in the next 11 years, while the government said it would set aside GBP557 million in funding for offshore windfarm subsidies in the same period. It also plans to drive up exports of offshore wind power to GBP2.6 billion a year, five times today’s amount.

The deal will facilitate job growth of 200% in the segment by 2030, to 27,000, and will boost coastal economies throughout Britain, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The UK will likely dominate the offshore wind segment in Europe in the coming decades. A 2008 study ‘Will British weather provide reliable electricity?’ finds that the UK has more than a third of Europe’s total wind energy potential, equivalent to three times the UK’s energy needs (peak demand was 57GW in 2017). Government subsidies are expected to go a particularly long way given that subsidy-free offshore wind power deals are already being signed in other European countries such as Denmark and Germany.