Utility-developer SSE has called on Boris Johnson’s administration in the UK to set a formal target for offshore wind of 75 GW by 2050, in addition to that already set by the government of 40 GW by 2030
The call comes in a ‘greenprint’ for a cleaner, more resilient recovery from the economic impact of coronavirus.
“We have submitted a five-point action plan to the UK Government to meet the twin objectives of helping the economy rebound while taking climate action to meet net zero targets,” said SSE. “We have written to the Prime Minister, the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy, Innovation and Skills (BEIS) with a five point ’greenprint’ to rebuild the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic."
The report recommends the government should give the green light to billions of pounds of private investment in low carbon infrastructure, committing to a net zero power sector by 2040 and help get the UK on track to meet its climate action commitments.
“Targeting 75 GW of offshore wind projects, five carbon capture and storage, plus hydrogen power clusters, and giving the go-ahead on plans to regenerate the electricity motorways to transport clean power to more homes and businesses, will help support a return to growth,” said SSE.
“The UK Government’s existing commitment to reaching 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030 is a clear medium-term commitment, which requires a large number of barriers to be addressed as outlined in our recent report,” SSE said.
“In addition to tackling these barriers, government should set a deliverable longer-term target of at least 75 GW of offshore wind by 2050. This would provide significant confidence to underpin investment in developing a thriving national supply chain, supporting industrial development, manufacturing jobs and economic growth. Barriers to renewable deployment such as the approach to charging for transmission investment and operational costs, and radar issues, should be addressed.”
The greenprint also calls for changes to electricity market design to ensure the right framework is in place for investment, and for appropriate interconnection with other countries and efficient co-ordination on offshore wind in the North Seas area.
“Ofgem is currently examining how to optimise offshore wind connections and this process needs to consider how to balance the value transmission operators can clearly bring to co-ordination with the need to maintain momentum on current and future offshore wind investments,” SSE said.
“As Britain adapts to its new place in the world, its interfaces with Europe’s need to be consistent with a green economic recovery for the UK. The interplay of carbon, interconnection and offshore grids needs to be thought through holistically and to work in favour of existing and future UK investments, while ensuring the efficient flow of power to and from Europe.”
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