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UK should target 5 GW of floating wind by 2030

Wed 14 Mar 2018 by David Foxwell

UK should target 5 GW of floating wind by 2030
The UK ought to aim high and target 5 GW of floating offshore wind by 2030, industry advocates say

An industry group focusing on the fast-growing floating offshore wind market says the UK needs to set ambitious targets for floaters and believes the sector deserves its own ‘Sector Deal’ with the government.

The Friends of Floating Offshore Wind, a representative group of companies with an interest in the development of the floating offshore wind market, have released a position paper The Future’s Floating, requesting discussions on a Sector Deal with the UK Government based on socio-economic impact calculations.

The companies have called for a commitment to target 1 GW of floating offshore wind in development and realisation by 2025 and 5 GW by 2030.

The group has also requested discussions around a Sector Deal which offers support for the technology, either separately or as part of the wider offshore wind sector deal, to determine how the route to this market can be facilitated at the least cost for tax and bill payers.

Friends of Floating Offshore Wind chairman, Chris McConville said “Our position paper makes a compelling case for supporting floating offshore wind with a route to market in the UK.

“The technology ticks all the boxes of the UK’s Industrial Strategy and aligns with the vision for a transformed economy. Not making use of this opportunity would mean leaving the benefits of this promising industry to other nations, a mistake we can’t afford to make again.”

“Floating offshore wind is on the pathway to become commercially competitive with other forms of electricity generation and has the potential to further reduce the generation cost of offshore wind, particularly in deep water and challenging seabed sites,” said the body.

“This creates a new market with the associated supply chain, employment and export opportunities from which first movers and those with experience in related fields such as offshore oil and gas or maritime will benefit most.

“Calculations of the local gross value added (GVA) underpin that the GVA returns justify the investment in supporting pilot and particularly precommercial arrays, where the GVA exceeds the cost of support.

“The support of these projects would also offer local employment and the development of local supply chains for export markets, especially in deprived areas or where the transition and diversification from offshore oil and gas is needed the most.”

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