Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to reiterate his government’s commitment to green energy and to offshore wind in particular in a speech at the virtual Conservative party conference today (6 October 2020)
National newspapers briefed by Downing Street report that the Prime Minister plans to invest in green energy and “create hundreds of thousands of jobs” in the next decade.
In extracts from his speech reported by The Guardian and other newpapers, the Prime Minister will say, “We believe that in 10 years’ time offshore wind will be powering every home in the country, with our target rising from 30 GW to 40 GW.”
The Prime Minister first made a commitment to 40 GW of offshore wind in late 2019, when the Conservative election manifesto commitment to 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030 became government policy, having been included in the Queen’s Speech.
The Prime Minister is also expected to announce that the government will invest £160M in manufacturing the next generation of offshore wind turbines and invest in floating offshore wind, with a target of 1 GW of floating wind commissioned by 2030.
Responding to the announcement of the Prime Minister’s speech on offshore wind, RenewableUK chief executive Hugh McNeal said, “The Government has raised the ambition for offshore wind and renewables, and our industry is ready to meet the challenge.
“A green recovery with renewables at its heart will be good for consumers and jobs, as well as helping to meet our 2050 net-zero emissions target.
“Support for new floating wind projects will ensure the UK stays at the forefront of global innovation in renewables and provides new opportunities in the low carbon transition.”
Industry chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council Benj Sykes said, “Offshore wind is on track to become the backbone of Britain’s electricity system, providing reliable, low-cost clean power to homes and businesses across the country.
“The industry is investing tens of billions of pounds in new offshore wind projects, supporting local economies and employment in communities across the UK.
“Our global leadership in offshore wind, coupled with new support for investment in ports, will help unlock the huge opportunity for the UK to build a world-leading, competitive supply chain.”
Ørsted head of UK region Duncan Clark said, “We welcome today’s announcement from the government, which will underpin the delivery of at least 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and unlock huge opportunities for UK supply chain companies, both domestically and overseas.
“Offshore wind is the most cost effective way to achieve the UK’s net-zero ambitions and delivering 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030 is an essential part of this roadmap.
“This is a challenging target but achievable if government and the industry continue to work together to accelerate deployment and build out the UK project pipeline as quickly as possible, regenerating coastal communities while expediting our progress to a more sustainable, low-carbon future.”
Equinor head of UK renewables Stephen Bull said, “Today’s announcement is great news for the UK, for our climate ambitions, for our economy and our world-leading offshore wind industry.
“Floating offshore wind is an exciting technology which unlocks capacity in deeper waters in the UK and across the world. The UK is home to the world’s first floating offshore windfarm, Hywind Scotland, and is well-placed to leverage its expertise in offshore wind and the opportunities that floating offshore wind brings.
“We believe 1 GW by 2030 is achievable, but we will work to go further and aim to double this to at least 2 GW, cementing the UK’s leading role in both fixed and floating offshore wind.”