The offshore wind industry in the UK expects the government to award it a long-awaited sector deal by the end of 2018.
That a deal is imminent was confirmed by UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry in a 20 November 2018 announcement. Speaking at the opening reception of Offshore Wind Week in the House of Commons, Ms Perry said she expected a sector deal to be concluded by Christmas.
The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) has been working closely with the government on the Sector Deal, which aims to build on the UK’s global leadership in this clean technology.
OWIC co-chair Benj Sykes, who is also UK country manager for Ørsted’s offshore wind business, said “This is an important announcement by the minister. Industry and government are close to agreement on a sector deal that will set the pathway to 30 GW of offshore wind.
“We welcome the minister’s announcement that a transformative Sector Deal is imminent. Offshore wind is becoming an industrial powerhouse. As the minster has made clear, it’s a key technology in our country’s transition to affordable clean power, and the backbone of a low-cost energy system in the years ahead.
“With the right deal in place, we can continue to attract billions of pounds of investment in new infrastructure, secure our power supplies, and create thousands of skilled jobs, including our supply chain which already extends to every part of the country.”
The UK has installed more offshore wind capacity than any other country. Industry believes it can deliver at least 30 GW by 2030, which will provide more than one-third of UK electricity. Through innovation, collaboration and government policy to secure investment in a pipeline of future projects, the UK industry has slashed its costs, so that new offshore windfarms are cheaper to build than fossil fuel alternatives.
The domestic and export market for offshore wind products and services provided by UK-based firms is expected to be worth £4.9Bn (US$6.3Bn) a year by 2030, by which time 27,000 people will be working in the industry. With the global market expected to exceed £30Bn by this time, industry and government want to take steps to ensure that the UK is ready to benefit from this global growth.
For more details about what a Sector Deal is and what it might achieve, see:
• Sector deal could help UK carve out massive export opportunity
• UK seeks ‘transformative’ sector deal for offshore wind