The UK offshore wind industry has committed to work with the government on a transformative Sector Deal, which by 2030 could deliver thousands of additional skilled jobs in coastal areas, and billions of pounds worth of export opportunities.
The offshore wind industry's vision for 2030 includes £48Bn (US$67Bn) in investment in UK infrastructure; a five-fold increase in export value, to £2.6Bn a year; 27,000 skilled jobs across the UK (up from 11,000 today) mainly in coastal areas; and £2.4Bn a year reduction in total electricity system costs, reducing costs to consumers.
The offshore wind industry aims to generate one third of the UK’s electricity from offshore wind by 2030. This scaled-up ambition, coupled with the government’s Clean Growth Strategy, means the industry will more than double its capacity from 13 GW deployed or contracted today, to 30 GW by 2030.
This additional capacity will not only generate affordable and clean electricity for UK business and consumers, it will also have a direct impact on supply chain productivity and efficiency, benefiting other sectors as well as the UK’s ability to export.
The Sector’s engagement with the government will be led by Baroness Brown of Cambridge, Professor Dame Julia King, who is the UK’s Low Carbon Business ambassador and vice chair of the Committee on Climate Change.
Baroness Brown said “The challenge for the offshore wind industry and government is to ensure that we capitalise on our world-leading position in a highly competitive, global market and deliver on the huge potential for jobs, new infrastructure, exports and economic growth. This will also allow us to continue to achieve significant cost reductions, helping energy consumers.
“With an ambitious Sector Deal we can take the next transformative steps together, enabling the offshore wind industry to help government to achieve its clean growth ambitions in a way that boosts productivity and growth throughout the UK.”
Offshore Wind Industry co-chair Benj Sykes said “We are absolutely delighted that Baroness Brown will be championing this deal on behalf of our sector. She brings a wealth of experience from her positions across business, government and academia. Her knowledge and skills will be invaluable as we continue to work with the government to deliver the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy.
“We’re working together as a sector to partner with the UK government and deliver our ambitious vision for the future of offshore wind. This deal comes at the right time for the offshore wind sector; we have grown rapidly and reduced costs much faster than anticipated.
“The sector is now at a critical turning point and must seize this opportunity to reach its full potential with a transformative deal. 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.”
The sector is offering to make several new commitments from the industry to support the objectives of the government’s Industrial Strategy; prioritising innovation, creating new business opportunities, generating high-quality jobs, helping communities to prosper and upgrading UK infrastructure.
The industry will now enter into a period of engagement with the government on a prospectus for the deal.